Credit Catch-22


Christopher Reynolds began his Nov. 26 Travel Insider column by warning against giving credit card numbers to “scamming strangers” (“Con Artists Are Out to Get Your Credit Card Numbers”). But he ended the article with reference to suspected “phantom companies” and advised travelers to pay “when possible with a credit card, so that the consumer’s money can be protected if the service never materializes.” Good advice, indeed, but do you see the irony of a near-perfect Catch-22.


Sherman Oaks

Reynolds replies: Nice catch. Here’s a clearer way of saying it: Guard your credit card until you’re satisfied that you’re dealing with a bona fide business. (A reference from a satisfied customer is one good reassurance.) Then, you may choose to use your credit card so that your money is protected if the business fails or, for some other reason, service is never delivered.