Arts & Entertainment Page B2 I Walton Sun I June 25, 2005 Whose fault is credit card fraud? ple will no longer have to rush to beat thieves to the mailbox and spend time shredding the day’s 10 var- ious low 1.9 percent APR offers. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. And that isn’t only due to dumpster divers and mail thieves. A lot of it has the do with the vast Web and the breach of information that happens ever so often in this day and age. You think? On June 17, Visa found a major security breach when it investigated multi- By Pasha Carroll ple cardholder accounts riddled with fraudulent There is a crime, rarely charges. Hackers had thought of 30 years ago, accessed 40 million credit now being committed card holders information every 79 seconds. including security codes The crime is when a and account numbers. thief steals your identity There are multiple ways then opens accounts in the it could have been prevent- your name, according to ed. CBS News.com on Jan. 25 First, CardSystems Solu- 2001. tions (the credit card pro- Credit card fraud does- cessing center that was n’t only happen when your hacked) admitted they wallet has been lost or should not have kept the stolen. Nowadays it is a information in databases. whole new ballgame. Many (Representative’s say they times the victims have no did for research purposes.) idea they are being used as Second, the processing such until it is too late. center’s computer systems Disturbingly, your iden- should have prevented it. tity can be snatched Fraud detection stan- without you dards are high ever know- in the cred- ing about it card it. That process- is until ing it’s too world, late. but it It only makes takes you one out- think, of-date should a company to credit card compromise company be held that. liable for a stolen identity So, just when you think caused by a card offer that that you are safe, you a person never solicited or shred every piece of mail even knew about? meticulously and keep a Many times an identity watchful eye on your wal- thief takes credit card let, there is s new trick up offers unopened, from peo- the thief’s sleeve. ple’s mailbox. He or she Florida has the 4th-high- then opens the account and est rate of identity theft, charges away. according to a Federal Well, that certainly was- Trade Commission report n’t Joe Shmoe’s fault that in 2002. the credit card company There seems to be noth- sent him an unsolicited ing the average Joe Shmoe offer. It wasn’t his fault he can do about it, unless wasn’t waiting at the mail- precedence is set in court. box for his junk mail to be You think that huge com- delivered. panies like MasterCard, So who gets the ugly end Visa, Discover and Ameri- of the stick? can Express will ever take Well, Joe Shmoe does, of responsibility for the course. He has to spend hours of manpower it countless hours, days, takes to reverse the dam- months and even years age that results from cred- repairing his tarnished it card fraud. credit. Sure, they may take The credit card company responsibility for the does not take responsibili- charges. But for the hours ty. Yeah, maybe the ole boy it takes to erase such a doesn’t have to pay those fraud from one’s credit charges, but he does pay history … priceless. the price on his credit report. ‘You think’ is a weekly rumina- Hopefully, one of these tion that plagues Pasha Car- victims will wise up, sue roll’s brain. If you have some- the giant card company for thing to say, call her directly millions or more, then peo- (850) 267-4555.