Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Question for the hive....

.....have you ever had your identity stolen, credit card compromised, etc?

Yesterday, I was in a great mood when I left work. Bing has a law class ( school will be on her plate when she retires in a two years, she's getting the basics out of the way for now....) every Tuesday night and Liv was eating dinner/studying at a friend's home. I had plans to go shopping for new patio furniture. Ours is pretty ratty looking.

My phone rang as I was walking to my car. Hmmm. My bank. I answered.

"Is this Maria Lastname?"

It was.

The caller identified herself as Shelly from fraud alert at my bank. She wondered if I was currently in my city.

I was.

"Well, we are seeing some suspicious activity on your debit card in Dallas, Texas," she said.

Long story short: someone was enjoying themselves in Dallas on my debit card number. Apparently, they had hit several stores and had really had themselves a good time at Home Depot.

I guess it was inevitable. I mean, I'm in my mid fifties and I have never had this happen. Ever. Nothing even close.

But, still...I was flabbergasted and mostly MAD AS HELL.

I was curious. How could anyone have gotten my digits? The card was still in my wallet. I was told by a rather weary sounding Shelly that this is a very common occurrence. That she was shutting down my account and that it would be unavailable to me for several days until they mailed me a new card. That, no, my checking account was fine; only my digits had been "compromised."

I asked how long it would take to have the money stolen from me returned.

Well, she hedged. She said it would probably take from 3 weeks to a month and a half for their fraud verification team to insure that I hadn't been in Dallas going on a shopping spree. This kind of pissed me off. I also have to go to my bank and fill out an affidavit now too.

I want to slap this person who STOLE from me. I want to take a trip to Dallas, track his/her fraudulent ass down and kick the shit out of them. Twice. Three times.

I kept thinking to myself how can anyone do this?

Stupid question, I know. There is much evil in the world and this is just a small fish in the sea of it.

Shelly told me that I should be grateful that the bank had caught it. Well, yes, of course. I was. And even though Bing tells me to check my account daily, in truth....I only do it every couple of weeks. Well, never again. If my bank hadn't caught this, it could have been so much worse.

Any one else in this boat with me?


Jacquelineand.... said...

Goodness Maria, what a mess! I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
Whilst we've never had credit card info. stolen we did have a problem with the Great Scot's social security card. It was issued to him shortly after he moved here but we didn't receive it in the mail...inquiries showed that it had been mailed out but to the wrong address, (in a different state) it had been used to obtain a driver's licence, etc... The person who had used it was an illegal alien, and most certainly not Scottish. It was eventually straightened out but the scary thing? This happened exactly three months after 9/11.

Jean said...

I haven't ever lost $$, but my Credit Union has called me multiple times to let me know there's activity on my account that was out of the ordinary. Had my card cancelled twice as a precaution. I was in SF a few months ago and used my card at a store. They called my husband and asked if I was in SF. I love that they're on top of it. I have a friend that lost nearly $800 around Christmas. Still wasn't settled last time I knew.


Anonymous said...

Charlie got a bill from a cable company network saying she owed them $800. Someone was using her maiden name to charge up their cable bill. She had to go to the local police dept and everything and have a statement made and sent to the cable company or else they would have sent it to a collections agency.

8thday said...

This just happened to my daughter a few days ago. But her bank immediately called her, said they would send a new card, and that she would not be responsible for any of the fraudulent charges. She didn't have to do anything else except wait for the new card.

She, however, is still raving mad as being a college student she MUST HAVE a debit card for all those important life things, like beer and pizza, and can't possibly survive for a few days without the card.

Of course, she also has my credit card and is doing just fine using that : )

Danielle L Zecher said...

I've never had this happen, but I know a few people who have, and it was very hard on them. Three plus weeks is a very long time to be without money that you need for mortgage, groceries, etc. It's nice that the bank caught it, but you'd think they could do something to speed up the process of getting your money back.

Joanne Noragon said...

Yes, had my entire purse stolen. In another state! Had to borrow money to drive home to get a new driver's license, switch bank accounts, etc. I caught it and called my credit cards and bank w/i the hour, so all they got was the cash. Happened in a restaurant, probably a server, and a world weary friend explained the purse probably went straight into the dumpster. Yes, I despise the person. Forever and forever. They got my only picture of my six and eight year old daughters in brand new haircuts. Bastard.
You are sharing the randomly assigned pain for which there is no cure.

Anonymous said...

Did she actually say that you should be grateful that they caught it??? Wow. They have a department where that's their job, and it's THEIR money that they're protecting, not yours. Is your bank a credit union? This has happened to me twice in the last year, and I bank at one of the mega-banks. They "reserve the right" to hold me responsible for up to $50 that's fraudulently charged, but they didn't hold any of my money pending their investigation, and it ended up never costing me a dime either time. About 3 days without a debit card was the extent of my inconvenience. My partner, on the other hand, has also been hit twice in the last year, on an account at a credit union. The hoops she has had to jump through have been fairly significant. She got an email today saying that in the future her debit card will not work for any transaction over $80. Yeah, that might be a problem.

Yes, it feels like a huge personal violation. It IS a huge personal violation. There are some icky people out there.


Moonwaves said...

So sorry that has happened to you (and boo to the bank for not just assuring you that all monies will be immediately refunded). I'd be hopping mad, too. Fortunately this has never happened to me. I do tend to check my online banking at least once a day, though (more often if I'm waiting for a transaction to go through and feeling impatient). And I check my credit cards (different provider than my bank) about once a week. My sister's credit card was skimmed once and just by chance she noticed a charge from Hong Kong! come through the same day it was made so she was able to get it sorted quickly. Hope it doesn't cause you too many headaches.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Oh yes. So I know exactly how you feel. Some one charged $2600 worth of airline tkts on my charge card and my credit card company fraud dept. caught it right away. I wasn't made to pay for it. Someone used another credit card to charge $50 worth of makeup but I caught that on my statement....I did not have to pay for it. Then someone stole my identity and SS# to get a cell phone in LA...I've never been there. They never paid the bill and MY info was turned into a collection agency but they couldn't locate me. As luck would have it, I applied for a cell phone with the same company and up popped this bad info that I had nothing to do with. I had to jump through all kinds of hoops to prove that I was actually me...complete with years worth of utility bills to prove residency. I was lucky and got a good collection agency that helped me straighten out all the records and erase the black marks on my credit rating. I stressed over the fact that my SS# was floating around in LA but I think Katrina took care of that as the store where it happened was demolished.
I nearly had a nervous breakdown over that ordeal. I have not been careless with any of my credit info either..l'd LOVE to know how they got it. I absolutely HATE identity thieves and only wish bad things on them. All I can offer as advice is check your statements often.

e said...

I haven't had my 'digits' stolen or my identity but I had my wallet stolen and my bank card used. It is infuriating!

I didn't have to pay for any of it, happily, but I did have to replace all kinds of things, including my drivers license. Plus, they got a picture of my daughter as a very young child that meant a lot to me. Bastards.

Good luck with restoring your bank account and peace of mind...

Anonymous said...

My elderly aunt either had checks stolen out of her checkbook or fraudulent checks generated/made using her bank numbers. She caught it, but the bank would not close her account because her ID was expired. My aunt does not drive, has limited vision and has not seen a birth certificate in 20 years. Her passport was expired- try getting a new ID when old ones are no longer valid. All in all a frustrating experience to get a new ID to close out an account at the bank she's banked with for 50+ years. Good luck with your mess.

Bibliomama said...

My debit card has been copied a few times - I always know it's happened when I try to use my card and it gets declined. I just go to my bank and change my PIN number and I've always gotten the money back really quickly - what they're doing with you would annoy me too. That feeling of (perhaps slightly) disproportionate outrage, though, I recognize from when I was working at a small bookstore and I got conned by a well-dressed man who talked to me, ordered a book and then professed to have locked his car keys in his trunk and need 100$ for a locksmith so he could go pick up his kids. He was SO credible, and my husband and I had almost no money, and as my sister says, there must be a special place in hell for people who make their living preying on people's better instincts. My sympathies - even if it is a relatively small problem, it sucks.

Karen M. Peterson said...

This happened to me a few months ago. Luckily my credit union stopped the charges from happening in the first place and notified me immediately, but it was still a hassle because I had to wait for a new card and everything. Could have been so much worse, though. I know I got really lucky.

Earth Muffin said...

This just happened to me in November. I am also guilty of not checking our account very often and I discovered as I was balancing our checkbook that someone bought themselves a VERY nice ergonomic chair from a company I'd never heard of to the sound of $275. I immediately called the company and the next day (it was Sunday when I discovered it) visited my bank. I was told the same thing, it would take some time before I got a new debit card and it could take "weeks" before my money was refunded. If it's any consolation, in truth I got my new debit card in a few days and the money was back in our account in less than 2 weeks. Mr. EM received a new debit card after the Target fiasco around the holidays, but his numbers hadn't been used, it was just a precaution our bank took to protect their customers. Sorry you have to deal with this, it's a yucky feeling, no?

Avril Fleur said...

Oh dear! I'm sorry you have to go through this experience. It's never happened to me personally. Although one time I got a call from my bank telling me that my debit card was used at a gas station where data was compromised. I'm surprised it's only been that one time actually since I make a lot of online purchases. But since I used to work in the banking industry, I'm pretty good about checking all of our accounts regularly and keeping on top of them. I pretty much always know to the dollar what we should have. Here's hoping it all goes smoothly and quickly for you.

Rin: Recursion said...

Oh yes, I've been in this situation. My husband has had this happen no less than twice and every time it has made me super suspicious about where we use said card. It also happened to my dad in the verrrry very early days of the internet, back when my parents were afraid of shopping online - that's how they were able to prove the faulty charges were faulty, actually. Who knows how they'd do it now that my parents are internet literate.

...also, I've been meaning to comment for a while just to say that I love your blog! You can always bring a smile to my face. Keep on being awesome!

Destingirls said...

I'm in Fort Worth! Come stay with me while you hunt them down! And I promise it wasn't
me lol.

Teacher Cynthia said...

First, I just have to ask...

were they buying PATIO FURNITURE at that home depot???

gift giving, maybe??!!

Second... seriously, yes, I've had that happen.

Recently, I got caught up in that damn Target thing from Black Friday. It was a slow domino thing, too... where it kept hitting different cards.

Then they would call me and tell my card had been compromised and they would mail me a new card.

In the meantime, I was getting emails from all the various bills I have attached to credit cards - like my cellphone bill - saying the payment bounced...

of course, it had... since the credit card company had closed that account and opened a new number for me!


I've also had my bag stolen - this was years ago. and they were smart enough to take my work id... paste their photo on it...


and then go into my credit union and do a lot of crap. luckily, I got that pretty early on because I called in and wondered why my account had thousands of dollars in it.... unlike usual. ;-)

they had put in bad checks to beef up the account, then made withdrawls.


am I number four here?

you heard about the heartbleed virus/hack thing? maybe it's part of that.

and finally...

the real finally...


bing is unreal!!!!

;-) zc

Mitchell is Moving said...

What a headache, but glad banks tend to catch this so quickly. We've had that happen a couple of times in the past. It was a momentary headache and didn't cost us anything.

Good it was just your debit card. Actual identify theft would be a complete nightmare.

Bing can be such a grown-up, can't she!?!

Lawfrog said...

Yeah, three times actually. Twice for my debit card and once for a credit card. It's a hassle and it does make you feel violated. Although, the awesome thing for the debit card thing was that someone had tried to use it, but it was declined because there wasn't enough money in the account. I was between paychecks at the time. Take that thieves, don't steal from me, I'm poor!! ;)

megan blogs said...

It happened once with me with a credit card i use chiefly for online purchases. Caught it right away and was issued a new card, so not out any money. The worst part was that whoever it was signed me up for all kinds of junk mail and i got on phone lists of all sorts. I STILL get the occasional weird piece of mail or phone call. sigh. The name isn't quite mine, but the address is spot on.

My bank sent me a letter saying y debit card may have been compromised, please come to the branch at my earliest convenience so they could issue me a new card. Which they did, right at the branch. Bada bing, bada boom. I was amazed by that, and no, saw no weirdness on my statement. It did make me go back to using cash for most things though.

I also once had my wallet stolen. As others have mentioned, what frosted me most was the irreplaceable stuff. Photos of dear friends, and the wallet itself was one i had gotten in Paris, and i had a m├ętro (subway) ticket in that wallet and my favorite pair of nail clippers. How much money did the scumbags get from me? 35¢. I'd taken out all ID and credit cards, as we were going to the beach. I shoved my wallet in my shoes, as i'd always done and got a creepy feeling when i was out in the water. The 10¢ was in case i needed to make a phone call, and the 25¢ for an RC cola (it was 1977 and that was the going rate).

Short Story Long said...

Bing is awesome. But then, you know that. :-)

My son has had this happen to him a couple of times. The first time a few years ago, as I recall, took quite a while to get sorted out.

The second was better but still a hassle.

Every breach hurts. Bummer you have to endure. With all the conveniences in place, thievery is easier.

Anonymous said...

I had this happen a few years ago - they used my debit card to purchase two flights to singapore. Since it was my debit card - that was a lot of $$ to come out - and I had to wait until they also verified that it wasn't me to get the $$ back. I was with you super pissed off.

Since then I never use my debit card online - and only use a credit card with a small limit for any online purchases.

Anymore - we check our bank account daily.

LL Cool Joe said...

From the comments you've already received I can see that many people have been in your situation, we have too. It sucks. In fact we are now on one of these high security lists and often they put a stop on our credit card because we travel a lot, and often not together, so they can't work out why I buying petrol in the UK whilst my partner is buying shoes in Canada. :D

Chris said...

it has never happened to me, knock wood, but has happened to almost everyone I know. i suppose it is just a matter of time. my son has encouraged me to change all of my passwords in light of heartbleed, so that is what i am doing today.

i expect your issue will be resolved sooner than they said. most folks i have talked to get pretty quick resolution.

Jocelyn said...

I never would have predicted I'd ever harbor an appreciation for banks, but I have to hand it to them for being more diligent about our money than we are. Compromised digits have never happened to me, but I am very much like you (HUGE SURPRISE, THAT) in not paying attention to what my dollars are doing once they've been tucked to bed in the account.