Thursday, July 26, 2012

Someone went shopping with my money...

This is one of the reasons for my blogging laziness a toward the end of June...of course I seem to be a little blog lazy this week too, but I assure you I have been doing some seriously overdue cleaning...

Anyway, someone got both my and my husband's debit card numbers and did a little shopping.  All of the phone calls consumed so much time.

I have had someone use my debit card before.  Years ago, like before they got their shit together internet security.

I thought though I was smart in my purchases to not have this issue...but something went wrong somewhere.

I got an email from "Amazon Gift Cards" and the subject was "your order with Amazon.com"  - well, I ignored that one because I didn't order anything.  I figured it was just another spammy scam email.  Then I got another one from "[email protected]" with the subject "Account Alert : Please Read" - uh oh.

So I look at the account alert one.  It explained that they recognized that my card was used by a third party to make purchases.  CRAP!  I looked at the other email - they ordered a $300 gift card.  DOUBLE CRAP!  I want to know where that gift card was being sent.  The email they sent me to alert me of the fraud said they removed the charges and order from my account...well, I want to know who this person was.  Surely there was an address where this gift card would be sent.

While wondering this I check my bank account.  TRIPLE CRAP!  There are five pending transactions just sitting there.   Some of the charges are for that $1 where these people see if it is a valid charge...but the one to CVS is for almost $100.  The Amazon giftcard one isn't on the list (that was $300) but they let a $1 charge go through (which I cannot find record of on Amazon.com..so I am guessing they opened a new account to use my card# and Amazon was able to link the card to my account and figured out something was fishy?  I have sent them an email asking this and other questions but their only reply is that they are handling it on their end).

I called and cancelled my Debit card...but of course it was around midnight when I did so I wasn't able to talk to anyone that could answer questions about my account.  It wasn't until the next morning that I found out that one of the charges was from my husband's debit card.  The CVS one that shows as a point of sale transaction at a CVS in Alexandria, VA.  This person tells me that both my husband and I have to go into the bank and sign paperwork for the fraudulent charges but it would be best to wait until they have all cleared or else we would have to come back and do it again for those.

Great.

So I ask the guy "Is there a problem with the security with you guys?  My husband and I are on different schedules, shop different stores, and use different computers when shopping online.  I do not see a connection besides having the same bank account that these are from."   He assures me that there is no problem with them and that there are many other ways people obtain this information.

In the meantime, one of the charges with my debit card is from Experian.  You know, one of the credit bureaus...yeah I guess this is QUADRUPLE CRAP! So calling them was an ordeal in itself.  I simply wanted to know if my card was used to obtain my credit information or used to pay for someone else's.  That is all.  I am not even going to get into the all of the crap I had to do to get to talk to an actual person on this one...but finally I got to speak with "Leonardo" (who I am 100% sure was in India and picked his name because he knows TMNT are a part of American  culture) about my problem.  He was fine in telling me that the credit report that was obtained was for someone with the first name of Shaniquina and after I answered NO to his question of "do you know anyone with this name?" he said he could reverse the charges and cancel any additional charges.  WHEW on it not being my credit info being obtained.

When I went to my financial institution and was told that the forms we would fill out would be for disputing the charges and we have to first contact all of the people and have the charges reversed.  Since I did that with the Experian one, they consider that done and I cannot fill anything about disputing the CVS one until I call them first.   QUINTUPLE CRAP!  So the people I talked to on the phone left out this bit that I needed to contact all of them first.  I only contacted the credit bureau because I was concerned about them possibly getting all my credit info.  I didn't call CVS.  I was able to leave with new debit cards though...so not a wasted trip.  Although after this bank visit is when this happened so that day I guess didn't get better.

When I called CVS, the customer service agent never heard of this happening.  Really?  You have never heard of credit card fraud or you have never heard someone ask you "I live in St. Louis and my debit card was used fraudulently as a point of sale transaction in your Alexandria, VA store.  I would like to know in what instance this is possible and I would like the charges reversed."  I know that thieves can put any numbers on any blank card, but I still want clarification as I am still puzzled as to how this happened to both of our debit cards the same evening.  This lady cannot find the information and says that it takes a few days for details to show on their end.  She said I would need to call back in a day or so and she took all of my information on the situation and gave me a reference number so they would be able to look further into it.

Days later I call back and they are able to find the info.  They said that a card was used and they bought cigarettes.  That is all she would give me besides the transaction number and time of sale so that when my bank filed the paperwork, they would be able to pull up the transaction on the surveillance.

So back to the bank to fill out all paperwork.  Of course this guy starts asking us questions like we are idiots.  Um no, we did not give anyone permission to use our card.  I pointed out that there was no way that the husband's actual card was used in that CVS in VA since within hours the husband used that same very card in our local grocery store.   At this point the bank dude offers up that there was a processing center that was compromised and that is most likely where this issue occurred.  He went on to say that the problem wasn't related to the bank but to a processing center that handles transactions for several retailers.

What's with all the secrecy?  Why wasn't this on the news to alert people to keep a close eye on their money because card numbers were given out to thieves.

Anyway, bank dude said that this most likely would return to our bank account within 10 days because it was apparent that we did not do this.  The money has been back in the account...but still, what a pain.

Alright, I am done bitching for now.

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