Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Excuse me while I RANT!

So, on Christmas Eve, just checking my email and what did I discover, but an email from the VISA fraud people saying there was a potential problem with my VISA check card. Everyone's worst nightmare, right? Yup - I called them and discovered that someone had cloned my card - ie, they were using a card with my number on it at a WalMart (& I personally don't shop at WalMart!) in Indianapolis, Indiana (!?) What clued the fraud people in was, #1, it was quite a large purchase (over $500) and I happened to be using my card here in town on the very same day - since I only have one card, they felt it was highly unlikely that I'd be able to be in B'ham & Indianapolis at the same time. And the money came right out of my checking account! (well, actually out of my savings account - don't very often have that kind of money in checking) As Emeril would say: "DAMN!!!" - Oh, wait a minute, he says "BAM!!"

So here's what I have to say about this:

#1 - It is scary, but amazing that our purchases are tracked that closely. Shades of Big Brother!
#2 - It pisses me off, because I don't use my check card on line - and I haven't used it anywhere but here in Whatcom county, so that means someone right here in my home town cloned my card!
#3 - When, at the advice of my Credit Union, I called the sheriff to report the "theft of my number" - this proves diligence to the credit bureau people, - the deputy basically said that he'd give me a case number, but they don't have the time or resources to check these kind of problems out - he advised me to call the FBI (?)
#4 - I did call Equifax & put a Fraud watch on my credit account - BTW, that number is 1-800-525-6285 - write it down - it goes directly to their fraud department. Nice lady - tried to "up-sell" me to a paid version, but wasn't rude when I declined. They will contact the other two credit bureaus and the fraud watch is free for 90 days.

The good news? VISA & my Credit Union had the money back in my account by 5:00 p.m. today - I found that quite amazing too - Thanks WECU!

So, I'm glad this happened AFTER I finished my Christmas shopping - it's a pain in the backside, tho, because so few people take checks anymore. I'll just have to tough it out until I get my new card, I guess...

Hope New Years is happier! I still have Leigh's wierd meme, a story about crocheted baby caps and Sheep Saturday - lots of things to write about before the end of the year!


Anonymous said...

I knew there was a reason I got rid of my credit cards. I just wish I didn't have to carry around cash, namely since a lot of places don't take checks ( when I find a place that does take checks, I make sure to go back to them, whenever possible ).
It's too bad that our nation has come to this.
Hope things work out soon.

Tina T-P said...

I think there have always been shysters in this world - now they can just do so much more damage with the help of electronics & the internet!

Anonymous said...

That is too bad! Though it does seem like the bad guys and the good guys are always in a race for the best technology. Sure they can steal your card, but the good guys have the technology to see something out of the ordinary.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh! I am glad your fraud people were on the ball on this one! Another scam is that criminals will take photos of the gift cards hanging in stores and just hover 'round the computer until someone buys one with number they have on their cell phones, then they start ordering and charging like crazy when they see that number has activated!
And yes, this is FBI jurisdiction and DO report it - it may just be the added piece to the puzzle they need to stop this person(s). At least the SO was up-front about not having the resources to handle this kind of case....alot of people think they can solve cases in an hour, just like CSI. ;-)
Glad to hear you are OK and that everything is taken care of. But you're right...it's scare-y!1!!

vlb5757 said...

I don't have a check card. I am just leary about those things. My credit union gave me one and I cut it up and asked them not to send another one. Because of ill behaved high school students that walk past my house 5 days a week, nine months of the year; we have installed a locked mail box. I hate people who think they can have what is mine and have no feelings of guilt or remorse for what they do.

Thanks for providing the numbers. We have recently been getting some strange phone calls and I think we need to start doing on check about our credit. Makes me so nervous. You can have great credit one minute and the next you are the guilty one. It's just sad and very wrong.