Friday, January 22, 2010

A Conversation with my Bank's Fraud Department

MW: (*peeved that she's missing Star Trek: First Contact on Syfy*): "Okay, so what's this alert thingy about?"

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am. There have been some irregular charges on your credit card. We need to verify them."

MW: "Whaaaaaat?!?!?!"

Fraud Guy: "Have you just charged $170 to the Family Dollar Store in Brooklyn?"

MW: "No. That's not me. THAT'S NOT ME!!!! I'm in (*redacted*)...far away from there!"

Fraud Guy: "Mmmmhmmm. Thought so. Ma'am, it appears that someone has your card."

MW: "But I have my card. I'm looking at it. Wait, are they there right now using it??"

Fraud Guy: "Yes. The last charge was approximately 5 minutes ago. We're holding the charge back to verify."

MW: "Well, if they're there, then ARREST THEM!! SEND SOMEONE TO ARREST THEM! Why aren't you ARRESTING them??!!"

Fraud Guy: "Ma'am, it's Brooklyn. We can't really do that."

MW: "Why not? People get arrested in Brooklyn all the damn time! They're THIEVES!!! FILTHY THIEVES!!! (*MW begins to realize she's sounding like Gollum...*)

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am, they are. Why don't you wait just a sec while I close out your account. You won't be charged for their purchases."

MW: "Those BASTARDS!! Why don't they get a JOB and stop stealing other people's things??? godDAMMIT!"

Fraud Guy: "Ma'am, calm down."

MW: "How do they even have a card to swipe?? I HAVE MY CARD!"

Fraud Guy: "Well, they've probably either made or purchased a forged card with your number. I don't really know how they got the number. This happens all the time. We'll send you a new card."

MW: "What? They can DO that? They can just MAKE a card?"

Fraud Guy: (*begins talking slowly. Obviously I've been raised in a convent and I still believe in unicorns, the tooth fairy, the inherent goodness of mankind, etc.*): "Ma'am. I understand you're upset, but it's really going to be okay. I'm taking care of it. You can trust me."

MW: (*still ranting*) "...and what kind of LOSERS steal a credit card number and go to the Family Dollar? What kind of RINKY DINK operation is this? Wouldn't you go to get a TV or something? Don't you think that's STUPID???!!!"

Fraud Guy: "Yes, ma'am. They are stupid thieves. Your new credit card will arrive in 5-7 days."


Fraud Guy: "Dunno. Have I satisfied all of your banking needs this evening ma'am?"

MW: "Yes. Thank you for informing me."

Fraud Guy: "Have a pleasant evening."

And, to the people who stole my credit card number and purchased what can only be described as A WHOLE LOTTA CRAPOLA from the Family Dollar:
You may suck it.


What Now? said...

Thank goodness that your bank responded so quickly! But yes, how stupid. Someone once got a hold of my number and apparently made a card and used it to buy gasoline and apparently nothing else.

heu mihi said...

All right, this just cracked me up. Glad they caught it right away, though!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Actually, the Family Dollar plan makes sense: if you've noticed, you no longer have to sign for purchases under $10 or $25 at some places, and they rarely check ID for small purchases. So you ring up a bunch of stuff, work out a deal with someone who will resell it or let you return it for cash, and you're golden.

The Gollum thing is kind of a great image.

squadratomagico said...

Notorious, I think you're living up to your name. How come you know so much about credit card fraud an fencing stolen goods, eh?

My word verification is: unfeth. As in: Unfeth, quickly now! UNFETH I SAY!

medieval woman said...

Yes, I too had thought of that later - if they bought a big TV at Best Buy, they would be asked for ID for the credit card (they should ALWAYS be asked, but oh well). And they started out with a small charge (less than $60) and then when it went through, they charged over $100 right after - probably a TEAM! It was the second charge (along with the first) that caught the company's eye and they called me.

But that's 170 $1-priced things they bought. I guess they're getting a lot of bang for MY buck!

Doctor Cleveland said...

Sorry to hear it, MW.

When they cloned my credit card last summer, it was actually my debit Visa card, which meant every time the thieves used it, they took money out of my checking account. And *no one* from the bank called me until I was a thousand dollars overdrawn. Actually, they didn't call me. They mailed me overdraft notices. Not convenient.

My stupid thieves preferred various Gamestops in Greater Miami. So they looted my bank account to buy and fence lots and lots of copies of Grand Theft Auto or whatever. (And to them, I say: suck it.)

medieval woman said...

Doc C - that's much more horrible a situation! Ugh - and the bank didn't let you know! Did they eventually refund the $$ and waive the overdraft charges? Yuck!

Doctor Cleveland said...

Yes, MW. That's why when you saw me a month later, I was smiling. It's all good.

And none of that's meant to take away from how awful your experience is. Or what terrible crap they were buying at Family Dollar.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

I'm waving a very indignant fist at thieves like this everywhere. People really do have no shame sometimes.

A student in the middle school where I taught in the Bronx stole my wallet (never learned the identity of said student) and removed from it my credit cards, driver's license, and cash. An hour later, someone with the ability to drive a vehicle pumped a whole lot of gas into his/her car on one of my cards. I realized something was wrong that evening when I went to get groceries and found my wallet straight-up MISSING. Said wallet turned up several weeks later on the roof of the school, sodden and essentially empty.

Sadly, that whole experience really set me back in my desire to connect with my students. And it makes my blood boil whenever I hear about this kind of theft (whether it happened virtually or in person) because, as much as we may not want to believe it, this sort of crime is so common that even children are getting involved.

Very glad your bank set things right. I hope the wrath I could not unleash on the student who stole from me somehow makes it into the dreams of the person (child or adult) who targeted you and leaves that miscreant TERRIFIED whenever he/she tries to sleep.

Susan said...

Yesterday someone at church told me that our local dollar store will sometimes get good wines in that sell a $1 a bottle. His technique is to buy the wine, open it in his car and taste it, and then go back in and buy a few cases if it's good. Apparently a few years back there were some VERY GOOD wines (usually $12-$15) in stock, so 170 of those wouldn't be a bad purchase.

It's good to know the bank is paying attention!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

eeesh1 that's just scary!