Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,673
Registered: ‎11-11-2012
Re: Fraud Alerts? Declines? Just curious...

snowkitty wrote:

I come here everyday and read a ton of posts on handling credit and credit cards. I have came across posts about people getting declined at the register and getting frauds on cards for spending money outside of their usual. Each month I use a variety of cards to pay for groceries, gas, bills, etc. I never know which card I am going to use so nothing is set in stone. Should I be putting stuff from each category (food, gas, bills) on each card each month to play it safe?


Also, I am going out of state for vacation this summer and I don't want to get any "surprises" when I try to run my cc's. Are the declines/fraud alerts that I read about something that really does not happen that often or is it something to worry about? I just want to take steps in advance.

They are really not that common.  Some of the stuff reported here (to do with declines) is related to an Amex Financial Review (the decline is the first notification that the account is frozen for FR).  Otherwise the belief is that you will sometimes get declined (and asked to verify that it really is you that made the transaction) is when you make a transaction that is unusual (bigger amount for example) for you.  This can apply more to new cards, where they don't have a model of your normal behavior.

Always have with you at least two cards from different banks, so that one is likely to work if the other is suspended.


But see, especially the comments by Chan85 who deals with fraud  issues for a bank:  In particular:


Charges out of the UK are very risky. About half the fraud I see on a daily basis comes from there. And we do the same thing, even when notified of travel, we still may block it just because its a high risk merchant or high risk location. Same with gas stations, charges out of FL, CA, GA, MI, or NY very high risk states and activity...


So even with travel notifications, transactions associated with high risk (merchants, location etc) may get flagged.