DEAR HARRY: After two months of sleeping fitfully, I can awaken peacefully. My credit-card problems are behind me. I had gone to a rather upscale restaurant and paid the bill with a credit card. Somehow, the waiter either memorized or copied my card number and used it for purchases totaling $11,000 within a few hours.
The bank caught the problem when he tried to use the card for a second time at a store he had visited about an hour before. He also gave my number to a friend who tried to use it a day later. Both are now in the pokey.
After all this time, I finally was not held responsible for any of that debt. My bank sent me a short list of things to do to protect my cards, but I think it was designed to protect the bank more than to protect me. Any suggestions?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: Of course! Don't let your card out of your sight. If a waiter or clerk takes your card to a recording device, keep your eye on that card. It's too easy for them to hit you as you got hit. Never (No exceptions!) give anyone your birth date, Social Security number or your mother's maiden name unless it's a government document or you're applying for new credit. That information opens up the door to your identity. When shopping, take only the credit card you intend to use - no others. Notify your bank as soon as you know of a lost card.