Sunday, June 19, 2005

Credit card chaos

With all this talk about people tapping into credit card companies' computer systems, identity theft and other scary issues tied to having credit cards, I think I've decided to get rid of mine. I've got too many as it is, and a couple don't carry a balance anyway.

A couple months ago I had a bit of a scare when my alma mater's database was broken into by a hacker, who may or may not have accessed thousands of students' and former students' Social Security numbers and credit card information. Putting a fraud alert on my credit report pretty much weirded me out enough to get rid of my cards right then and there. But nothing came of the situation in regards to my personal information being violated, so I decided I may have been over-reacting.

But last week, the story broke that 40 million - yes 40 million - MasterCard numbers were accessed by hackers somewhere somehow. That was enough to send me over the edge.

So, tomorrow, I'm heading down to my credit union, taking out a loan to pay off my cards and closing the accounts. I've heard too many horror stories to validate the risk involved in having the "security" of quick money.