OT: More credit card worries

A few days ago my wife received a letter from our credit union, excerpts follow:
"Important information regarding your- MasterCard Credit Card
Dear Member: Visa and MasterCard's Fraud Control has advised XXXX Credit Union that 11,788 Visa accounts and 13,489 MasterCard accounts were potentially compromised by a third party merchant.
Preliminary investigations have confirmed that the merchant's computer system was storing *full magnetic strip information* (emphasis added). To remedy this vulnerability, the merchant is working to remove magnetic strip data from the merchant's systems, and is in the process of disabling the system from storing this type of information in the future. Fraud activity has been reported in USA, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Portugal, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.
To avoid any future fraudulent activity, your existing card has been blocked from any future authorizations."
I don't know what data is contained in the "full magnetic strip information", but apparently if could be your life story.
Between this kind of thing and the Choicepoint mess (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?idQ4412 ) I think I'm going to close all my credit cards and go back to using cash.
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Wes Stewart writes:
To avoid any future fraudulent activity, your existing card has been blocked from any future authorizations."
I don't know what data is contained in the "full magnetic strip information", but apparently if could be your life story.
Between this kind of thing and the Choicepoint mess (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?idQ4412 ) I think I'm going to close all my credit cards and go back to using cash.
Hell, I did, but I still get emails telling me my credit card from xxx bank (one I never heard of, never mind had an account with) is going to be canceled unless I respond with all credit card info by whatever date. The temptation to send these, and the Ebay credit scammers, a cry from the wild Yumac tribe is almost overwhelming, but so far, I've managed not to. It would just assure them they had a live email address.
The credit card companies need to do a great deal more to prevent this sort of fraud, because many more people are going to react by shutting down the entire process. Credit cards are a convenience, no matter what modern society seems to think. They are NOT a necessity. It is sometimes a PITA to not have them, but it is ALWAYS a worry, and often just as big a PITA, to have them. I spent an awful lot of time one year assuring Amex that I had never been to Italy or Toronto on the days someone used my card numbers to charge train trips all over Europe and a cross country train tour of Canada (something I'd love to do, but can't afford). There was also a skiing trip involved, which, given the state of my knees, is outright silly.
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Correct but for me credit cards have rebated to me over $5,500 since Spring of 1997 and I have received $450 in gift cards in the last year. I like the assurance that if you charge something in the card that the CC company backs you if there is a dispute on a purchase. I have had unauthorized charges made to my CC totaling $800 but a phone call to the CC company was all it took to resolve the situation.
It is

I have great credit and work the CCard companies to my advantage. I had American Express back in the early 80's but dropped it after 7 or 8 years I got the American Express card again last year and I dropped it like a hot potato last year because of their lies. I kept the card for 3 months. The offer on the application sounded good so I called to verify the offer and gave several scenerios of how I planned to make the most of their 5% rebates to be sure that I understood the terms. As it turns out, I never got of a 5% rebate on any purchases like I do with another card.
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