Firm Offering Text Credit Card Fraud Protection

A quick text message could save consumers from being the victims of credit card and identity fraud

By Willard Shepard
|  Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011  |  Updated 6:55 PM EDT
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Credit Card Fraud Text Alerts

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Credit Card Fraud Text Alerts

A national company is offering peace of mind in a text messages.
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A new innovation in technology is making using your credit card safer.

Credit cards issued by the company USAA will now come with a fraud protection based on text messaging.

USAA, which is based in Texas but has thousands of customers in Florida, will send you a text when it thinks a credit card purchase is suspicious.

The hope is the instant alert will help customers immediately act in the event their identity is stolen, a USAA executive said.

“This service will actually send a message to the member ask them if this is a valid transaction or potentially fraudulent and they can actually reply,” said Tom Shaw, vice president of USAA.

South Florida resident Jackie Almendares said a text would have saved her a huge headache after someone ran up more than $60,000 n her credit card.

“I like the idea. I do not have to be so worried about identity theft, which I am,” she said. “My identity, everything happened to me”

USAA says it is one of the first to offer this service where their fraud detection system analyzes suspicious transactions based on the overall risk of the transaction, not just a certain dollar amount and sends text alerts to protect you. They ask subscribers about the attempted purchase and people can respond to tell them if it’s them using the card or not.

Credit expert Elizabeth Karwowski, who has a company in Doral, said consumers need to take advantage of technology that protects them.

“I actually get excited because any opportunity to protect your identity is a good opportunity for consumers,” she said.

Merchants like Philly Steak Sub Shop owner Kareli Mila says the new protection means she can focus more on her sandwiches than worrying about her business losing out from a fraudulent transaction.

“Oh definitely I’m going to get paid every time,” the Doral business owner said. “You are not going to run with the risk of somebody who’s not going to have money to pay.”

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