Fraudulent card charge worries elderly couple - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fraudulent card charge worries elderly couple

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First-- there was the Target credit & debit card security breach.  It seems like others keep coming to light.

And then, just this week, two people traveling through our area were stopped and arrested.
Police say they had numerous fake credit cards on them.    They were booked on suspicion of identity theft and other charges.

That story caught the attention of one local family who wonders if it's all connected-- including fraudulent charges on one of their department store cards. It's made them leary of using cards at all.

"I can't go in the stores and purchase things because I can't walk very well," said Silvilia Breaux.

Silvia and Willie Breaux have been married for 61 years. A picture on the table 44 years old, shows them as they were as young and vibrant, around the time they married.

But age has taken its toll and now they welcome help from their son and daughter to take care of bills and financial matters.

When Silvia's son noticed a charge on a new credit card for more than two hundred dollars, he made the monthly payment.  But after talking about it with his mother and calling the company, they discovered charge was made in California.

"We called and they said it was somebody in California who had made the purchase," said Breaux.

Silvia is still waiting to get back money she paid.
"It was $50," she said.  Reporter:  "Why did you pay it?"  Silvia:  "Well, I just pay every bill that comes in.  I pay it and then I just didn't check it but my son checked it and saw that it was something we didn't buy," she said.

Silvia's daughter Pat urges other older people to get help from a trusted friend or relative.

"Even if it's a friend of yours that can help you out, always get somebody to check your bills to be sure that you're paying for what you're getting and not something else that somebody in another state's getting," said Pat Breaux.

They also have a paper shredder that gets plenty of use.

"I think maybe they don't think older people pay attention to things. They don't pay attention to their cards or their money. They're more careless," said Silvia.

Often when you are at a department store about to make purchases the cashier will ask, 'Do you have one of our store credit cards?' and offer an incentive if you fill out a paper to get one.  But the older Mrs. Breaux is one lady who answers no to that question.

" I'm cutting my credit cards up.  Reporter:  Why?  I can buy cash. If I need it bad enough I can pay cash for it," she said.

So, for the Breauxs,  recent security breaches have left them  feeling insecure when it comes to paying with plastic.

It's also important to carefully review the details on the back of your credit card or bank statements so you understand your responsibilities when it comes to promptly reporting errors or charges you didn't make.

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