No Worries Credit Card Precautions

Credit Card companies reported an estimated $24billion loss in fraudulent charges   in 2017 despite increasing security added with the chip insert.  For us worriers, this should create anxiety over ever wanting to hold a credit card of any type.  This Average Joe got hit twice in one weekend on different cards prompting what normally would have been several nights of lost sleep.  But thanks to establishing a habit of prevention schemes today we can tell of a recent happening how at the end of the day we had No Worries because of our Credit Card Precautions.

Last weekend I was alerted via text that the debit card I hold for a non-profit organization I was the president of received separate six separate $100 charges from an online gaming site.  Fortunately, I had signed up for the mobile alert service for non-pattern charges.  Immediately upon the notification I logged in to the account and saw the charges.  I called right away and put a stop on the charges.

Because of the fast action, we were able to stop the payments and avoid a long hassle of straightening the charges out.  Normally we NEVER hold debit cards, but the non-profit status of the club prevented the group from having a credit card. Thus we had to use a debit card.  Had I not caught the card, we would have been responsible for the full loss of the $600.  Thank God the precautions were in place and the charges were canceled.  It only created a minor difficulty of having to cut up the card (as pictured in the feature image) and having a new one re-issued.

To our dismay on the same weekend for one of our personal Visa cards, we received a phone call from Ashley Furniture asking to verify our shipping address as ‘it was not the same as listed on our credit card.’   Since we have been shopping for furniture recently, I had to ask my wife if she ordered something from Ashley.  She answered with a huge NO!  My initial thought was the phone call must be a scam from someone pretending to be with Ashley.

My next step was to look online (again) at all of our credit cards for a false charge.   Indeed, on our personal Visa card was $1200 worth of online orders placed with Ashley.

My well-tuned WORRY-ALARM went off and into action…

Actually not that one, our brains have a first notice worry-alarm controlled by the Amygdala.  We’ll not cover that subject today, but I suggest if you want to know what makes you worry so much, understand how and why it is part of the design.  Click here if you want to learn more now (or come back and do it later)


We took the following steps to resolve the issue:

  • I called Visa and put a stop on the ‘pending charges.’
  • I called the fraud alert department to cancel the card
  • I discussed the ramifications of the false charges
  • Since we caught it right away, the $50 liability we had on our card was waived
  • We ordered new cards with new card numbers
  • We checked all other cards and every bank account to make sure no other crimes took place
  • We patted ourselves on the back for having a precaution system in place
  • We started analyzing our buying patterns to see HOW two card numbers and the CVV codes were stolen…

Now we are very cautious about the use of our credit cards and protecting them.  It is a losing battle though as breaches often happen. In fact, Marriott just had a breach of 500 million user accounts.  So even if you do not have a credit card, you still would have had your info stolen in this latest of many breaches.

Nevertheless, we strongly advocate following ALL the tips listed in this article to protect your identity and credit cards:

One thing few have ever mentioned though prompted me to write our story of being fraud victims.  We are 99% sure the numbers and ‘CVV’ or ‘CSC’ (card security code) codes had to be photographed, jotted down on paper, or electronically stolen from the same restaurant.   My little bit of FBI training from the Army whittled it down to the fact we only used that debit card one time in the past 6 months.   We generally only use the Discover card for all restaurants (we love the 5% restaurant payback they were doing for the quarter) except one place which does NOT take Discover.  It happens to be the exact ‘international’ food restaurant where the debit card and personal Visa card was used.  Hmm, pretty obvious to us which restaurant had an employee that took our numbers and sold them off to most likely fellow individuals from the same country.   Yes, we have talked to the police.  We are not sure if they will do anything, but some amygdala alarmed individuals I hope are very nervous at that restaurant now and cease their stealing.

Almost all establishments have the chip card reading devices for you to swipe your card.  The purpose is supposed to drastically reduce cc fraud.   Do you know why every place has those devices now?  It is not to protect you, it is to protect them!

Do you know why credit card companies are so ‘generous’ to not hold you liable for credit card fraud?  It is not because they are generous, the monkey is placed on the back of the merchants, they pay for the fraud and have to eat the charges.  And the government we all don’t like very much, put regulations in place to force them to take the liability off our shoulders.

Nevertheless, it is a pain in the neck if your card is canceled and a new number is issued.  For one, you lose your card for a few days.   All the places you have stored your card number for verification must be re-established.   And we had to waste much time straightening the issue out.   I did call Ashley and alerted them to not ship the order.   It was the right thing to do, even though I did not have to make that phone call.   They were very grateful that I called them and saved them from shipping $1200 worth of furniture that surely they never would have gotten back.

New lesson learned since all restaurants walk off with your card to swipe your credit cards -render them as online useless by scratching off the 3 digit code on the back of the card.  You must, of course, write the number down and not lose it, as you will need it for all online purchases.

I always look for lessons learned in all our escapades and hard situations like this.  I hope they help others to not have to learn it the hard way as we did.   This made me think of the value of protecting what God has given to us.  If you care to hear the spirit realm story, then click the dare to button below and learn some more protection lessons…

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Jesus and Biblical teachings and statements at times create dilemmas for living in a world that is shared with liars, thieves, and murderers.   He explains that is exactly what type of world we live in from John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”  (for the non-Bible reader, He was referring to the anti-God leader known as the devil).   Despite knowing we’re up against thieves, Jesus says we will have a rich and satisfying life.   But meanwhile we know His primary teachings, of course, tells us to be very generous and to love everyone doing all that we can to help people in the whole world.  But how practically do we do that amongst difficult and scary people?

The same author John later explains not only do we live in such a world, but it is under the ‘control’ of the anti-God being –  We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.’  1 John 5:19

But fret not my worrying friends, He has made all those who believe into warriors that can overcome that control, John says –  “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.   And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”  1 John 5:4-5.   Confused?     I suggest additional studying of the whole of chapter 5

In Jesus guide to handling thieves and bullies He states some seemingly not smart advice:

“But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.   If you are sued in court, and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.  Matthew 5:39-40

Dr. Luke, the detailed Gospel writer, put it in a similar context    “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.   If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.   Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.”   Luke 6:28-30

The theme seems to say go walk in the streets and get beat up.  Put yourself out there cheek turned ready because it does not matter, you are going to die anyway.  Give away your money because you don’t need it.  Give away your clothes because you don’t need those either.  In fact, instead of protecting your credit cards like I talked about earlier, go withdraw all your money and walk down the street with the $10 bills piled in a wagon.   Who cares if the wind blows them away and end up in the hands of the homeless.  Who cares if someone in a gun-free zone pulls out a broomstick and threatens to beat you with it if you don’t give her the money.  Afterward, drive her to your house, open the closets and give away all your clothes and furniture.   Help her load it in the car and give her the car keys and car to go with the clothes on your back.

Note to the reader, this is called satire…  Never would I question Jesus’ wisdom, but I do think deeply about His words and analyze them over and over again to apply them to my everyday circumstances.  What is truth and what is a lie, we need to dig and find it out.

Perhaps there is a call to take such actions, although at this date and time in the USA it is doubtful.  Factually we could make such a move as the only thing worse is dying or willingly letting a terrorist move into your home.  Who cares if you are beaten or even killed as Jesus said don’t worry about killers – well here in full Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Matthew 10:28   I do not mean to make light of a serious subject as there are countries where this type of hell exists.   Thus, does God want for our own household or even country to face such circumstances?  I believe not, and it is wise for us to do all we can to prevent such a thing.  If you don’t think that is right, it may be time for a head exam.  Thus we should understand Jesus’ dealings with those who wanted to take his life, before succumbing to his sacrificial ending.

Now let’s get to what played out though, as there may be a time when the it-does-not-matter day may come into our world.  Jesus lived out exactly what He said as we know He was beaten without a fight and stripped of all His clothes and hung on a cross to die for this world.  He as we know and believe came back to earth alive proving He defeated death.  That is worth thinking about….

But before that, this happened:

So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus concealed Himself and left the temple.” John 8:59

“Once again they attempted to seize Jesus, but he escaped miraculously from their clutches.” John 10:39

John 11:40-45, 53-55:    “But Martha, the dead (Lazarus) man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”  Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe? So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.  You always hear me, but I said it out loud now for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”  Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.54 For that reason Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but left there and went to the district that borders on the uninhabited wilderness, to a town called Ephraim; and He stayed there with the disciples.

John 12: 1-11    Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom He had raised from the dead. So they gave a supper for Him there. Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the (read more on Lazarus, the post provides interesting insight on ‘reclining’ Lazarus)  table with Him. Mary took very expensive perfume of pure oil, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas, one of His disciples, the one who was going to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii and the money  given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor [for he had never cared about them], but because he was a thief; and since he had the money box, serving as treasurer for the twelve disciples,  he used to pilfer what was put into it. So Jesus said, “Let her alone, so that she may keep the rest of it for the day of My burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.”

 A large crowd of Jews learned that He was there and they came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.   So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus also,  because on account of him many of the Jews were going away from the Jewish teachings and believed in Jesus following Him as Savior.

Avg Joe Observations –

  • Jesus knew Judas was a thief. He did nothing about it and did not worry about it
  • But at the same time, the disciples were well taken care of and fed. When food ran out, He did a miracle to feed them and 5,000 people, twice.  God does provide in both normal and miraculous ways, even though thieves steal from us at times.
  • He told Judas NOT to give away the money to the poor (yet He said to do so at other times)
  • Jesus was under a death threat for a while – but He stayed away from the danger until the time of his destiny
  • Jesus did the practical at times to keep from getting killed.  Somehow he was teleported or something to escape more than once.  That I would say is called God’s supernatural protection. I believe God provides us with supernatural protection all the time.  But we should not test it anyway, think of the movie GroundHog day, trying to kill ourselves because we know God will either raise us from the dead like Lazarus, or we go to heaven, is not wise.  God is not playing life games nor should we.  Recall the anti-God took Jesus to the top of a building and used a Bible verse to convince him to throw himself off of it, Jesus response was ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’
  • It was important for Lazarus to stay alive and protect his miracle. Think about that…

    • Lazarus job was to stay alive and glorify God because of the miracle that happened to him. The anti-God wanted to eliminate the proof of the miracle

    • If you are healed from drug addiction, the anti-God controller wants you back on drugs, it is your job (with God’s help) to stay clean, preserve the testimony

    • If you were freed from alcoholism, the anti-God wants you off the wagon, stay away from places that will take you back to slavery, you are proof of God’s freeing you from the addiction, take precautions to keep your testimony

    • If God freed you from an unhealthy lifestyle deteriorating your body, stay away from the situations that created it and focus on not only a healthy body but a healthy mind to protect your miracle

    • If God fixed your finances and helped or is helping you out of debt issues, don’t go to the jewelry store or places that will cause you to fail. Take precautions and learn how to be wise with money, protect your testimony

    • If God freed you from the slavery of anxiety, depression, noself-acceptance, cruelty, etc. that lead you to a lifestyle of a thief, murderer, adulterer, or whatever-er, stay free, protect  the miracle as others are watching to see if  you continue in victory

    • If God healed you of a sickness or injury, do your best with His help to stay healthy, the anti-God controller wants to stop you and will try. Personally, I was healed of a neck injury (read it here).  It may sound silly, but I go out of my way to not have the injury return.  I stopped playing my favorite sport of basketball as it often got twisted out of place again.  I regularly do neck strengthening and stretching exercises as taught by a Physical Therapist.  Protect your miracles, it is your testimony, it is your job as a believer to glorify God, take precautions to not have it stolen away.

How we are to live in a fallen world is complicated.  Actually, NO, the only thing that has made it complicated is that people who have zero understanding of God and His Son whom He sent to save people from an eternal death (that they do not believe in)  are telling Christians,  what they are supposed to do.     Interpretations of the Bible and how a Christian should live in the midst of some thieves varies greatly.   I’d rather follow what God says rather than what doing what those with hidden motives want us to do.

We have politicians and people in media distribution systems who wish to control all with them in power.  They use Jesus words and actions to carry out their hidden schemes.   Like Judas, they present a view of caring for the poor while their eyes and hands are in the pockets of those who have what they want for themselves (either their money or power).   They will stop at nothing to steal it away and dress it up to look like they are righteous ones.   Some tout to open our land to people who hate us, hate our country, and hate God as if to say take the locks off our doors because ‘that is what your loving God said to do.’  Meanwhile, their ultimate goal in control and power seeking is to take our lives away, just as they tried to do to Jesus and sought to do with Lazarus.  We should not be naive to the schemes. 

Let’s look at a simplified Biblical view of our own call to domestic peace-time living!

Paul summed up the role of a majority of Average Joe’s to first take care of and protect our own household:  “Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.”  1Thess 4:9-11 in The MSG version. 

At another place, Paul pointed out that if you misinterpret Jesus’ teaching and give everything you have away, in essence neglecting yourself and your own family you are worse than those you are trying to win over “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  1 Tim 5:8

No doubt we are instructed to help the homeless, the poor, the immigrants (legal or illegal).  But seldom is there a constant scenario where we are to give away everything God provided in the name of charity while neglecting our own household.  Like they tell you on an airplane, put your own oxygen mask on first before putting it on others that need help.  Because if you do not, you will end up not only dying yourself but end up killing those you are trying to help because you will not be there to help them.  Jesus wept over the death of his best friend Lazarus.  God hates death.  He hates it so much that He was willing to send down from heaven His own Son as a sacrifice to defeat it. 

Sometimes we are called on to be more than just internal prayer and self-control warriors.  In the book of Nehemiah, the Jewish people were under the threat of attack by people who hated their country, hated their people, and hated God.  They planned to attack and kill them.  So ALL the people were called upon to be warriors, workers, and protectors at the same time.  They were told by God to rebuild the wall that protected their land. (hmm, are walls protecting our borders bad?)  The wall rebuilding manager Nehemiah said in chapter 4:

“Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid! (Don’t worry either) Remember the Lord who is great and glorious; fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!”

He explained –     “Our enemies learned that we knew of their plot and that God had exposed and frustrated their plan. Now we all returned to our work on the wall;  but from then on, only half worked while the other half stood guard behind them.  And the masons and laborers worked with weapons within easy reach beside them or with swords belted to their sides.

Whether it is protecting our car and home via the simple locking of the doors, having an alarm system, having large guard dogs, or more, do it.

Especially to you household leaders.  Do not be naive, stand strong and be a warrior of protection for your family or those whom you live with.   It is wise to know the situation that the anti-God enemy wants to stop the good you are doing and is looking for ways to steal what God in His grace has provided.  The enemy is looking for ways to eliminate the glory you bring to God. 

We, worriers-turned-warriors, need to not only take precautions like we should do with our bank accounts, credit cards, and homes, but take precautions to protect our miracles and testimony too.  It is not just our job, it is our life!

I’d love to hear your view on this debate.   How are you challenged to balance giving everything away versus caring for your family?  How important is saving for the future versus knowing you are going to die so why not just give it away?  How much should we worry about protecting our living quarters vs trusting that we are protected in other ways?

* Please see my privacy and policies notification for all copyright uses of the Bible versions noted.  Too many this time to mark all of them.




Please share your comments, what struggles with hurt do you have?  How can we help you move from a position of hurt to one of love?

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