Scammers Empty out Personal Finance Author’s Bank Account

Scam Alert – Beware of Bank/Credit Card Skimming at Gas Station

First Published: December 15, 2008

As you know, I always talk about how to protect yourself from various scams and ask you to be extremely cautious. This implies that I am a person who is always cautious when I am exposed to banking and online transactions; however, there are times when you are unable to protect yourself from these scams, regardless of how careful you are. My bank account was recently emptied out by scammers and I will tell you what happened with a screenshot of my bank transactions.

On November 19, 2008, I went to a Chapters Indigo bookstore and attempted to pay with my bank card at the checkout. Instantly, to my surprise, my bank card was declined. This was simply impossible to me, as I always have some cash and overdraft protection on my checking account. I called my bank right away and was told that there were four withdrawals of about $200 each on November 17. Once the bank’s system found out that it was a possible scam, my account was blocked to prevent any further withdrawals.

I did not have any access to my bank account for about seven days. In the meantime, my bank performed an investigation and returned the money that the scammers took from my account. I got a new bank card in the mail and my account was operational again.

I am posting a screen shot to show you how things went:

·   Nov 17 – I paid at a Petro Canada gas station with my bank card

·   Nov 17 – Someone somehow got a hold of my personal information and withdrew money four times. Notice these amounts scammers withdrew. A regular bank machine in Canada lets you withdraw amounts in multiples of $20 such as $20, $40, $60, etc. I am not sure how they possibly withdrew amounts like $201.50, $202, etc.

·   Nov 27 – Bank completed investigation and returned $812.50

Although my bank did not tell me if the hackers got my banking info from the Petro-Canada electronic terminal, I will never use a bank card or credit card at a gas station again. In turn, I would ask you to be extremely cautious using a bank or credit card, especially at a gas station.

How to Access Airport Lounges for Free

| Mastercard Airport Experiences by LoungeKey |

If you have a business-class flight, free lounge access comes with it for free. There is another way to enter the lounge and that is by paying at the entrance when you are flying economy. But the best way to access lounges without flying business class is to have a credit card that provides free lounge passes.

Credit cards use mainly two main lounge programmes to provide free lounge access. One is Priority Pass and the other is Lounge Key MasterCard Airport Experiences. Both of these programmes are owned by the same parent company. Priority Pass has slightly more airports covered than Lounge Key.

One main difference between Priority Pass and LoungeKey is that Priority Pass sells different levels of memberships to the general public, giving free access to certain numbers of free entrances, unlimited entrances, or just the annual membership (each entrance will cost you if you just have the annual membership plan) lounges.

On the other hand, LoungeKey is only available to credit card holders. Depending on your credit cards, you can have just the annual membership, a certain number of free entrances, or unlimited free entrances. You cannot buy LoungeKey; it’s given to you by your credit cards.

I love staying in lounges at airports because it adds a different dimension to your travel experiences. Lounges provide free food, drinks, spa, messages, showers, and some lounges even have a hotel inside and cooks are on standby to create your meals. You can view my lounge experiences across the globe here.

Also, I have a video discussing how to access airport lounges for free and sign up for the LoungeKey program. I will bring you a lot more business-class flight and lounge reviews in the next weeks once my trip to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia starts on Nov 24, 2018. Please subscribe now on my YouTube channel provided above.

Chiang Mai; The Rose of the North

Chiang Mai - Best of Both Worlds

The world in which we live is such a diverse planet that even the most committed travelers will never get to see it all. This could easily be a depressing thought; that one life is not enough for us to see everything, and that no matter how far we travel and how much we spend we will still leave something undone. What it means, in practice, is that we have to pick and choose where we go. We need to decide what we want from our travel portfolio and leave undone some of the things that do not quite come up to the standards offered elsewhere. For some of us, it is enough to see a few countries of choice; for others, to see at least one country on each continent; still others, to see as much of the world as funds and free time permit.

More and more people are of the opinion these days that, no matter where else you visit, Thailand is a country which simply has to be visited. Positioned in a continent which already offers the wonders of Japan, Korea, China, India and Pakistan among others this is no small thing. There is already so much to see and do in Asia – what makes Thailand so special? For many of us, the answer is simply in a glance. Just to look at Thailand is to see a country which combines modernity and bustling metropolises with something that is becoming harder and harder to find in this world – sheer, unique natural beauty.

Thailand is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, with simple bucolic scenes as far as the eye can see. Among this, the metropolitan area of Chiang Mai allows the traveler the best of both worlds – indeed, the best of a number of worlds, with the aforementioned natural beauty adjacent to shopping that compares favourably with many other cities, and the amazing old-fashioned buildings which are Thailand’s hallmark – beautiful Buddhist temples and traditional settings which are always worth visiting. There is much to see and do in Chiang Mai. Festivals are frequent and showcase the best of the region – from classical dance and music to traditional handicrafts – as well as the wonderful cuisine of the region.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most diverse regions. With a population in the metropolitan area of close to one million people, there are residents from a number of different tribal backgrounds. There is however virtually no clash of cultures, simply a peaceful co-existence which would make most visitors from the busier cities of the world somewhat envious. This may be why another one million people pour into the city every year from all over the world. If the mere feeling of good-natured welcome is not enough to put you at your ease, Chiang Mai is also one of the best places in which to experience the wonders of Thai massage – if you have time you can learn the basics yourself, otherwise why not simply put yourself in the hands of an expert and feel your worries float away?

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 26, 2009.

High Credit Score: Above 800+

My Credit Score Update: Above 800+

From time to time, on or on, I make my credit score public. The reason for this is that I talk about traveling by utilizing credit cards and rewards points and miles, and it only makes sense to publish my score to emphasize that I know what I am talking about.

You will find so many websites and YouTube channels online about credit cards and travel, but 99% of them are affiliated sites that make money by providing affiliated links. So that means these sites are working for the credit card companies and making money off you by providing best credit card lists or top credit cards lists and reviews which are affiliated, biased, and dishonest.

This is where or on come in. All my posts are non-affiliated, unbiased, and honest. To maintain my integrity and truthfulness, I have those credit cards I am unboxing and reviewing, I am documenting and sharing my travel experiences utilizing these credit card rewards and miles, and I am publishing my high credit score.

You will not find what I am offering from any other so-called Credit Card Gurus. They probably have never used the credit cards on their best top credit card lists and are hiding various important facts from you to make you sign up for those cards.

For example, if you look at any best travel or top travel credit card lists provided by many Canadian sites like MoneySense, Rewards Canada, and Greedy Rates, they will not tell you that many of their best top credit cards do not provide trip cancellation insurance and also will not tell you how poor or good these insurance providers are.

So before trusting anyone, always do your research from an unbiased, non-affiliated source to come up with your own best credit cards.

To view my actual credit score, which just got updated recently, watch this video:

Credit Score Update | Staying Above 800

Why Should You Visit Bangladesh Now?

Bangladesh Ranks Lonely Planet Best Top Ten Value Travel Destination

Lonely Planet is a well-known travel content-providing company that publishes travel guides, online publications, travel videos, and much more. Each year, Lonely Planet comes up with Top Ten travel destinations under several categories, and for 2019 Bangladesh takes 7th place as the top value travel destination for 2019.

This totally coincides with my recent Bangladesh trip. Bangladesh is not well known as a tourist spot in the world yet, but that definitely will change in the near future.

The main advantage of visiting Bangladesh before it gets too popular is the rarity of tourists. Places to visit in Bangladesh are still not crowded and you will hardly come across too many foreigners except in the capital Dhaka. Locals consider foreigners as guests and the celebrity-like treatment you will get everywhere you go is hard to find anywhere else on earth.

Bangladesh has endless attractions, both natural and historical, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The world’s longest sea beach at Cox’s Bazar, the mangroves and Royal Bengal tigers in Sundarbans, Ratargul Swamp Forest, Saint Martin Island are only a few to mention.

But if you need only one reason to visit Bangladesh before anything else, that would be the value you will get out of your own currency. This is one of the most inexpensive countries on earth and a dollar stretches beyond imagination. A cup of tea or a bottle of water costs 25 cents, a street food full-course meal costs $2 to $3, a fancy restaurant full-course meal costs $10 to $15, a first-class luxury train berth sleeper (it’s like train’s lie flat business class) from Dhaka to the other region in Bangladesh costs $12 to $15; the same trip by plane costs about $30 to $35. Are any more examples necessary? I don’t think so.

I have lots of Bangladesh Travel Videos from my trip and I am planning to visit this great country, which is not a popular travel destination yet, in the near future.