Practicing caution is the best measureRecently, I fell victim to credit card fraud. My card was still in my wallet, but someone had used my number to shop online. The charges were made at 3 a.m., mostly for purchases less than $100. The crook must have thought that charging expensive items would be riskier. Fortunately, I noticed the problem early on and informed the credit card company. But the security specialist didn’t have a clear answer.
“Since these charges are pending, please act promptly,” I requested.
But he said, “Fraudulent activity is established when the charges go through, so please wait.”
“So, should I bear the damage, knowing the fraud? Please notify the website,” I said.
But he insisted that there were too many fraud cases to address, and since the credit card offers full protection, I shouldn’t worry. The investigation will be conducted afterward.
I asked again, “Are there any preventive measures?”
“There are no such measures,” he said. “The same thing happened to me last month.”
In the United States, where customers often give the servers at restaurants credit cards to settle the bill, fraud can be carried out easily. The country is so big, and states have different ways of installing security measures. So it may be more realistic to have post-damage protection in most cases. Since the culture and system cannot be updated easily, it may be the best plan to reduce damage.
In the end, individual card holders need to exercise caution and swallow the inconvenience.
In a sense, credit card crimes are similar to gun-related crimes. Lately, gun violence has happened almost every day in America - at a school, military facility, religious site and airport. Many incidents don’t even make headlines unless the number of casualties is especially serious.
However, even when elementary school children are killed and the president speaks up, little progress has been made in gun control. While America’s response is decisive and thorough, prevention is very poor. It is hard to believe that the United States has so little preventive measures when it watches the entire world with hacking programs.
Inarguably, prevention is more effective than post-measures for any crime. But credit card fraud and gun-related violence in the United States remind us how crucial it is to get “vaccinated” on time. If you go over the crucial point for any reason, there’s no turning back. Since there are people who already own guns, gun control is not effective. So as to make the most out of the limited resources, the authorities focus on post-measures.
So you just have to live with the anxiety and wish yourself good luck. Is it a safe society? Just as the initial investigation is important, primary design is more crucial for policies.
* The author is the Washington correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by LEE SANG-BOK
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