Walt Disney World is one of those magical places where we go to forget the “real” world. So when things like credit card theft occur we tend to be more surprised than upset. With Key to the World Cards and Magicbands it is actually very difficult for a resort guest to have their credit card information compromised because credit card numbers aren’t stored on KTTW Cards or Magicbands. On a recent trip to Walt Disney World Drew and I had our card compromised. Yes I know for those of you that know us you are thinking silly credit card number thief you picked a blogger and a cyber security specialist to mess with, but that’s ok because it opened the door for me to better research this topic to help YOU if you ever have your credit card compromised at Walt Disney World.
In speaking to Disney Security I learned that if a card is compromised on property is is usually when a guest hands their credit card off to someone and loses sight of it or leaves it laying around in an unsafe manner. When you hand off your card though you risk someone hand recording not only your name and 15 to 16 digit card number, but also your card’s expiration date and security code. While credit card skimmers are a known way for thieves to acquire your credit card information, since a 2010 incident with a hotel employee skimming credit card numbers at a resort Disney has become very vigilant about checking credit card machines where guests and cast members hand swipe a credit card to ensure skimmers have not been installed. However that is not effective against cast members who may be using pocket skimmers shown in the photo below.
These skimmers are the size of two Zippo lighters and someone deft enough can use them skim your credit card on their way to the Point of Sale terminal.
How do I make sure my card hasn’t been compromised while I am traveling?
Check your bank and credit card transactions before you leave and when you get home. Keep up with your regular reviews as well. Make sure you keep a record of the charges you make while on travel to make comparison easier. Look for anything that is off or made from the location you traveled to AFTER you got home.
I don’t want to carry or keep track of a ton of credit card receipts isn’t there an easier way?
Honestly? Yes. In the day of the digital camera and smartphone keeping track of travel receipts has become much easier. Snap a picture of the receipt when you receive it making sure you can clearly read the date, transaction number, location, and Cast Member name. This way if you need to pull information when you get home it is easily accessible and you aren’t sorting through a pile of crumpled up receipts.
My card hasn’t been compromised, but I want to do my best to prevent that from occurring. What should I do to stay safe?
1- Alert your card company to your travel plans so that their fraud systems are prepared to see frequent charges outside of your normal billing area.
2- The best suggestion I can give is use room charge, DON’T physically use your credit card when staying on property, instead use your Magicband which requires your four digit pin to verify any charges you want to make to your room, without that pin number a charge can’t be made to your room and then later charged to your credit card at check out. Also because your credit card number isn’t ON your Magicband even if you loose the band you are safe, all you need to do is deactivate your Magicband in My Disney Experience. MDE will even let you change your pin number in the app if you feel the need to be extra safe in the case of Magicband misplacement.
3- If you don’t have a room option or prefer not to use it only carry the cards you need. The less cards you have to keep track of the better.
4- SIGN THE BACK OF YOUR CREDIT CARD and carry a photo id. People processing credit cards should compare signatures to the back of a card for signature discrepancies, but we all know many don’t but an unsigned credit card can EASILY be signed by a thief. Also if a card isn’t signed the merchant is instructed by credit card companies to request a photo ID for comparison. But most importantly if you don’t SIGN your card, it is technically not a valid card. Take a look at the back of your card if you are saying “not true” while reading this. The words “not valid unless signed” are on the back of your card next to the signature box. Technically if a merchant sees an unsigned card they are suppose to request your ID, and then ask you to not only sign your receipt but also sign your credit card in front of them.
5- Watch your card if you have to physically use it and can’t hand swipe it yourself. If you have to hand your card over to someone keep your eyes on them when all possible.
6-Lock it up. If you have cards with you to use between home and Disney, but don’t want to carry them lock them in your room safe.
7- If you are using your smartphone and a NFC payment system make sure you understand how programs like Google Wallet and Apple Pay work and how to secure those accounts if your smartphone is stolen or lost.
I just realized my card HAS been compromised, what do I do?
When you realize your card has been compromised there are steps you should follow. As you go through these steps make sure you record the names of people you speak to and any report or file numbers they may assign you to make follow-up easier to do.
1- Alert your credit card company of the fraud immediately so that they can deactivate your card and get you a new one and start the fraud investigation process.
2- If you find out while you are still at Walt Disney World contact the Orange County Police. You can now file a report online at www.ocso.com. If you are home contact your local police department.
3- Contact the company that charged your card to alert them of the fraud as they may be able to cancel the charge before the pending charge processes.
4- Contact Disney’s Security Communication Center and let them know what has occurred. Their switch board can be reached by calling 407-560-7959.
When you speak to Security you will want to have your resort information (check-in and out, room number) easily accessible as they will ask for this information. If your card has left your possession while on site make sure you give Disney any important information like dates, locations, cast member names to help them narrow down where the theft may have occurred. This information can be found on those receipts your took photos of. Don’t be surprised if the first person your speak to at Disney Security tells you you will be receiving a call back from another Security Cast Member for more information as the first person you speak to basically forwards the start of a case log to another office inside Disney Security.
If you are unfortunate enough to have your card compromised remember you are NOT alone. Lots of people have this occur to them. Also remember to stay calm and in control of your emotions when talking to your credit card company and Disney Security. They just want to help you resolve this.
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