Tinkering inside your computer? It could lead to trouble.....

  Forum Editor 07:45 01 Feb 2013

Lots of people like upgrading their computers - a new RAM module here, a bigger hard drive there, but watch our if you decide to change the motherboard, it could lead to your credit card purchases being declined.

This is an excellent illustration, if one was needed, of how the internet influences our lives to such a degree that an e-commerce site in say, Australia, might know if a motherboard in a computer in Bradford has been changed.

  kad60 08:56 01 Feb 2013

In France recently i had this happen to me,at a petrol station and a shop the card was declined not because of lack of credit but as a security measure.When i received a phone call i was asked specific questions and on answering correctly and explaining i was on holiday the issue was resolved,all because an 'unusual purchase' was flagged.

A possibly sleepless night turned into a deep sleep thanks to this security.

  onthelimit1 08:59 01 Feb 2013

That's bizarre - I've never had that trouble when I've changed to a new PC after years of ordering on line stuff from the old one.

  BT 09:19 01 Feb 2013


The same happened to a friend of mine in one of the big Supermarkets at Calais.

Whenever he's going across to France now he phones the CC company and lets them know in advance which seems to have solved the problem.

  rdave13 09:45 01 Feb 2013

It's never happened to me either and I have changed a few mobos. It's good to know about this potential problem though. Thanks for the info.

  spuds 11:39 01 Feb 2013

And who says Big Brother isn't alive a well, it certainly wasn't me :O))

But coming back onto the main subject, I have changed a number of computer motherboards, and never once as there been a question about this, including with Microsoft verifications. But I also accept that I do very little travelling now, and especially not overseas or do train journey's, so I guess I am a little safe than most?.

  Woolwell 15:04 01 Feb 2013

It wasn't just the change of motherboard but also the number of on-line transactions immediately afterwards.

  pavvi 01:56 04 Feb 2013

I get a lot of security calls from my bank. Partly because I frequently travel to South East Asia - it did freak out my bank that a few years ago though - I checked out of a hotel in Hong Kong on Saturday 20th June 2009 and used the same card to guarantee incidentals at a hotel in Vancouver on Friday 19th June 2009. It set off a Visa security block on all my cards and rather than risk being responsible for an unlikely fraudulent spend, I was in North America for 5 weeks and had to let them cancel all my cards as Visa had placed them all on Fraud watch. I'd travelled back in time across the date line. I also phoned up my father in law and my father wishing them both happy father's day a full 24 hours early. No wonder they sounded confused on the phone!

I have two laptops, one i use for photography and one for light music production work and use my cards for online purchases so this is probably a reason for frequent calls from my bank. It's just when someone shouts out in John Lewis - Security check on this credit card please in a very loud voice with a long queue of people behind me....

  pavvi 02:06 04 Feb 2013

Oh and Off topic but, when you check in to a hotel, they will ask for a swipe of your card to guarantee any extras. they will take authorisation for a set amount, sometimes as much as £100 per night. Try and give them a credit card rather than a debit card. The reason is they can take a pre-authorisation from a credit card but not from a debit card. What you don't use on a credit card pre-authorisation is released on check out as they haven't actually debited the amount just obtained an authorisation number for a set limit.

With a debit card, hotels will actually debit your account for the amount you authorise with your pin and then refund what you don't use. This can take in excess of 2 weeks to reach your account.

  Forum Editor 11:19 04 Feb 2013


I used to have exactly the same problem with VISA (travelling across date lines), but some years ago I made an agreement with them that I would notify them whenever it was likely to happen, and which countries were involved. Since then all has been well.

It is, as you say, very disconcerting to have a security check called at a till when there are others listening. It happened to me in the hush atmosphere of a car dealer's service department waiting area once, and I could feel my face burning as the VISA fraud department went through the checks with me on the phone.

  woodchip 20:36 04 Feb 2013

What about if you use different Computers to buy from online supplyers

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