Bank 'Fraud Detection' and Flying

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by petrolero, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    Does anyone else's bank lock their bank account when traveling on a long cross country in a personal plane - usually to another state?

    I'm with Wells Fargo and this has happened to me many times when I forget to notify the bank of my travel plans. For some reason this almost never happens when I fly via airline. Not sure what is getting flagged - it even has happened when I am in a big city and make a purchase (even when it has allowed other purchases.) I am not trying to figure out their fraud detection algorithm and overall I guess I'm glad they do it. But it can be a headache for personal flying.

    I'll be standing there at podunkville municipal (or Big City Delta) and my card gets declined. I grimace and suddenly remember that I forgot to check in with nanny. I make the call and 15 minutes later finish paying for my fuel. Maybe this needs to be on my checklist. After authorizing the transaction once it still flags purchases every time I stop there. :dunno:

    I've asked if there's a way around this but I've been told there isn't. So I cope with it.

    Is this common?

    EDIT: When I do notify them of my plans of a trip to, say, Dallas I end up having to authorize any purchase in the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas which are all the states in which I could, in theory at least, land. Even though it's a non-stop flight as planned things can change. So I end up authorizing purchases anywhere in about 30% of America. :D Just seems weird to do this every time I do these XCs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I keep several cards ,for long cross countries. Nothing is worse than having your card declined ,when at an unattended airport. Haven't had any problem in the last several years.
     
  3. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew commercial to Houston last week on company training. My first stop on the way to the hotel after picking up the rental car was to buy some beer. My card got denied so I had to pay cash. Next stop was Jack in the Box for a burger. They took my card, no issue there. When I checked my email later, I had an alert from BOA. They wanted me to go online and confirm that it was me using the card so I did. It's a hassle but I'm sort of glad they are paying attention to unusual activity. I guess if you buy lunch in Chicago and then try to buy beer in Houston a few hours later, it sets off the alarms.
     
  4. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    I too see this but typically the fuel purchase is approved; it is the subsequent charge thereafter when I find the card locked down.
    With the card I typically use, it is the fuel purchases which the computer red flags. The computer doesn't think you can buy fuel 500 or more miles from your last fuel purchase just 2.5 hours after your previous fuel purchase. It is a pain. I typically have them loosen the security on my card for a time frame then it will occur again, and again...
     
  5. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    Happened to me on the way to Oshkosh this year.
     
  6. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, BOA did it to me in Austin TX...:yes: I paid for some work on the plane, then when I tried to pay for fuel with the same card... no dice!!!

    I alway carry multiple cards when flying because I had heard it happens from time to time.... That being said, I have had them lock a card for an in town purchase... Their reason And I quote "You don't normally shop at that store"....:dunno::hairraise::mad2:
     
  7. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    In addition to getting flagged at FBOs, I did also get flagged twice buying from different liquor stores. That seems to be a red flag for sure.

    I have had POS machines that are set up incorrectly (or are mobile) flag me but I sort of expect that. In one case it was a tailor who goes around taking orders and payments all over the place. His POS machine is registered I guess to California. I pay for something with him then my Quizno's purchase at a POS registered to a Colorado address gets declined 5 minutes later. They don't think I can travel at nigh the speed of light? What gives? :D

    But yeah I think WF finds some FBOs (even ones I've specifically authorized in the past) to be suspicious but others not so much. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  8. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, me too. There's a predictive algorithm that the CC companies don't share, and I'm guessing they are all a bit different. The algorithm also learns a bit so if you keep travelling it'll get better about predicting your purchase profile.

    The only thing I know about the algorithm is that if you are travelling and you don't first rent a car, or pay for a hotel when out of town it sets a flag. maybe a very large gas purchase at the remote FBO sets it off, guessing.
     
  9. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah that's a good point. The XCs I'm thinking of never include a hotel stay.
     
  10. Fearless Tower

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    I never had this problem, until I bought a twin. Then, without fail, my bank would put a fraud alert usually on the second fuel stop of the day. What was frustrating is that even if I called ahead and TOLD them I would be traveling and racking up big fuel bills and they supposedly made a note on the account, it made no difference. Still got flagged/blocked.

    Now, however, my bank has thankfully gone to a text message system that sends me a text asking to confirm the purchase and all I have to do is reply to confirm. Then I'm good to go for the rest of the trip. That is a nice feature.
     
  11. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    How scary is it that you know that otherwise the BIG DATA in the sky knows that you bought an airline ticket and to where?

    I've had the credit card be declined when I suddenly went to buy gas on the road after a XC.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  12. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    This would be fantastic. I'm going to ask WF if they have that.
     
  13. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My bank just started doing this in the last few months, but it is sooo much nicer.
     
  14. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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  15. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    WF has that feature. WF will call my cell before they approve the first transaction that gets flagged. If I don't answer the phone they will text me. A simple text reply with a password gets me the green light. Easy.
     
  16. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Yup.... Neighbor had some household items and furniture they needed to move from Jackson Hole to their house in the keys.. He and I are both ex racers and when we make a road trip.. It is epic and fast.... We never shut off the motor the entire trip .. Jackson to the keys in 44 hours..:)

    We loaded up the race car trailer and hit the road.. I drive for 10 hours, stop for fuel , switch drivers and he drives for 10 hours, etc etc...

    On our very first fuel stop.... purchase as Denied.:mad2::mad2:.. He called Amex and bitched,, the CSR told him they would alter his account to "allow him" to charge fuel..:rolleyes2:..

    Next fuel stop... DENIED...:mad2::mad2:.. He calls them back and they now say there is no way we could travel by road that fast and their algorithm flagged us.... Once again they " allowed him" to purchase more fuel..

    That happened on EVERY fuel stop...:mad:


    He must have straightened it out, since he still uses the Amex card when flying his CJ-4 and they never ask how he travels 2800 miles and burns 6 grand worth of JetA in 4.5 hours....:rolleyes:..

    Life is good at FL450..;):D
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I received a call one time from my credit card company asking if I had just made a purchase in New York.

    No, it was not me.

    Thank you, we have closed your account and we will send your new card to you in 24 hours.
     
  18. DesertNomad

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    I was in Mauritius (an island nation in the Indian Ocean) when my bank sent email requesting that I call. They asked if I bought gas in Ohio today and if I had also been to Home Depot in Florida yesterday. I had to have a card sent but Mauritius was not in their computer so they had to send it to Dubai where I would be in 10 days.

    When I received the card, the DHL package was addressed to Dubai, Saudi Arabia. Somebody (presumably a DHL guy in Saudi) had scratched out Saudi Arabia and had Writen "try UAE"
     
  19. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've never had a problem with fuel purchases on my Capital One card. They might not be so good at detecting fraud but they do delete the charges when challenged. No extra fees on purchases outside the US either...
     
  20. MotoFlier

    MotoFlier Line Up and Wait

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    I was told by my bank that while traveling make a purchase as debit using my pin every so often, it triggers the system that I'm traveling. Since I started doing that my card has never been frozen while traveling.
     
  21. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    I travel a lot all over the country and have yet to be locked down. I must have that traveler profile. In Antigua it did decline and a call unlocked it. Now when I go Oconus I call my CC and let them know where I'm going.
     
  22. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    This was a big problem for me with BoA. They shut down my card while I was on the road several times. I'd call them and say yes, I used the card in Miami, Aruba and Mexico City today...please turn it on because I'm hungry and the restaurant doesn't accept hugs as payment.

    After the third or fourth time I threaten to close the account if they didn't fix the issue and it hasn't happened since.
     
  23. dukeblue219

    dukeblue219 Line Up and Wait

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    Hmm, I don't think it's quite so simple. When I travel for work the airfare, hotel, and car all go on the corporate travel card, which is a MasterCard issued by Bank "A." I then start buying things in a new city using my personal Visa, issued by Bank "B" and it's never an issue. Bank "B" would have no reason to believe it's actually me in the new city, but they haven't squawked it yet.
     
  24. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    Same here. I travel all over, occasionally on an airline but most of the times not. The hotel and rental car are always on the corporate AMEX. My meal expenses are on my own card, actually a number of different cards, and they have never been denied.

    I have gotten calls and emails from Capital One claiming suspected fraud, but not due to travel. When they ask me to confirm purchases they are correct. They have reissued my card anyway, which is an inconvenience, but I guess they are protecting themselves.
     
  25. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I didn't say, or imply that it was. I said that was the only thing I know about it, and that they don't share info about it.
     
  26. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you read the part about the algorithm learning? Or, did you just ignore that part like another poster?
     
  27. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    Sometimes I use cards I haven't used in a long time (to get the 5% quarterly cashback bonus on certain items). So unless the credit card companies share their algorithms that theory doesn't work. I don't know if they share this or not.
     
  28. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Not such a secure tactic, using a debit card at a retail business. Not doing that myself for the last few years. Credit card, no problem - the risk is all on the issuer.
     
  29. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whatev. I don't think you understand the way MC/Visa/AMEX work.

    http://www.ijser.org/researchpaper/...-Card-Payment-System-by-Genetic-Algorithm.pdf

    Buh-bye

    <edit; Doubt you know what a Genetic algorithm is, so I'll make it easy for you. It means 'heuristic' which is a fancy way of saying that it uses previous datasets, and trends to learn.>
     
  30. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    It is not clear from the paper whether banks share information or not. What you posted was just a research model.
     
  31. MotoFlier

    MotoFlier Line Up and Wait

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    What is wrong with using the card as debit? can't be much worse than gas station Atm machines.:dunno:
     
  32. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude

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    It's really not different, but neither are great. Just be careful and pay attention/test for skimmers.
     
  33. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    BofA just refunded over $30 to me for a cell phone call I made to them from Italy when they refused my ATM card. I tried to pull some Euros at FRA and it was declined. After an exchange of text messages, which they initiated, the card was supposed to be OK. Another attempt at FRA resulted in the same result - declined.

    I tried again when we got to Stresa, Italy. My card didn't work, my wife's (attached to the same account) did. Go figure. I called BofA from my cell phone (at $1.79/minute) and after 20 minutes had things straightened out. The card worked the rest of the trip.

    I didn't tell BofA about this in advance because a month earlier I had told them about a trip that would include Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. The first ATM I tried in Prague bounced the card. WTF? It worked the next day at another location. No problems in Hungary. So, if I tell them it doesn't matter, so why try the next trip? I've never had any trouble in the past, over more than a decade.

    In any case, this idiocy by BofA cost them over $30. I hope they figure out that I travel internationally and they had best not do this again, or it will cost them money again.
     
  34. MotoFlier

    MotoFlier Line Up and Wait

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    What's a skimmer and how do you test for it?
     
  35. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even with the same card, I have seen no evidence of algorithms 'learning'. Maybe some banks have such a system, but it is hardly universal.

    I've been flying back and forth across the country in the Baron for 3 years now using the same Visa card and have seen absolutely zero evidence that it is learning. Every trip it flags on the second fuel purchase of the day.

    The only improvement is the text confirmation which now makes it a non-event.
     
  36. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    I have 4 cards from 3 different countries because of this.
    BOA is actually annoying. They often send the text message asking if it was me, and even after that it won't work.
    I now have the direct phone nr to the ATM security people to allow me to get cash out with it.
    The only times that my card HAS been skimmed there has never been any texts or warnings.
    BOA decided that me in Finland (where I go to once a month or so) was more suspicious than random grocery shopping in a part of Texas where I've never been before, so they blocked the transactions in Finland but allowed the ones in Texas.
    (card skimmed in a LIRR ticked machine in NYC...)
     
  37. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've never been a fan of BoA. The US government actually canned them as the travel card provider. That's saying something...
     
  38. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I found out how to make Amex go catatonic. We were travelling from Oshkosh directly to Colorado for my daughter's wedding. I paid my hotel bill at the Hilton in Oshkosh and we stopped off in Broken Bow, NE for lunch. We then continued on to Ft. Collins. We headed off to the local mega-liquor shop to buy the alcohol for the wedding. At the checkout with $2000 of beer, wine, and hard liquor in my cart, the clerk says AMEX would like to talk to you...

    ME: Yes?
    AMEX: Are you Ron...
    ME: Yes.
    AMEX: And are you in possession of your card?
    ME: Yes, this is me trying to buy all this stuff.
    AMEX: And you were in Oshkosh Wisconsin this morning
    ME: Yes
    AMEX: And you were in Broken Bow Nebraska four hours ago?
    ME: Yes
    AMEX: And you are in possession of your card?
    ME: Yes, that was me in all those places.


    Apparently the security software doesn't understand GA and can't figure out how I managed in five hours to get several states apart in cities that don't have commercial air service.
     
  39. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    A typical BoA story from some time ago.
    I was in Heathrow, bored as you are when you are in Heathrow, so I decided to buy something.
    I go to one of the retail outlets and buy stuff I don't really need, the total was maybe 200GBP or so. Around 300USD.
    Try to pay, declined. I tell them this happens sometimes, can you wait a moment with the stuff, I'll get a text message soon.
    Soon arrives, and so arrives the text message, "did you attempt these" etc etc. I reply the usual "yes" and they say your card will work immediately.

    Well, I go back to the said retail outlet and say hi, let's try again.
    Nope, same thing.
    And the same d*mn message arrives.
    So I call BOA, only to be told their customer service is open from x to y, x being about 30 minutes from now.
    So, in 30 minutes, I do this again, I call them, go through the hell of their machine answering system trying to identify you, and only then get the card working, paid the products, got the stuff I didn't need in the first place, and left that retail outlet happily knowing next time I want to make a purchase I will have to go through the same stuff again, while some crackwh*re is buying booze from a Kroger in Texas and BoA don't give a damn about that.
    Yeah, I like BoA a lot.
     
  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had it happen once with one of my credit cards - good reason for a backup.

    When I got home, I contacted my credit card company and politely informed them what had happened, that I flew small airplanes for recreation, and that they definitely did not want to leave me stranded at some Podunk airport with no access to ood, shelter or transportation.

    That was more than 10 years ago. Hasn't happened since.