Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It'll never happen to me.....oh shit

It did.

All weekend I have been trying to check my checking account balance and the banks site wouldn't let me sign in. I wasn't too surprised because this is the same bank I had issues with earlier,,,,,though this was a website, not the local branch morons.

Yesterday I was busy so I waited until today to call the bank to see what was up.

They had frozen my account.


I always balance to the penny and have about eight hundred bucks in there (wayyy more than normal) so WTF?

The bank rep told me to hold while she transferred me...........to the FRAUD department. If I were an old southern lady, I would have come down with a case of the vapors.

Apparently some lovely individual tried to use my debit card number to buy over $1500 worth of items at R.alph L.auren in London. The London that is in England. On the other side of the ocean. Since I don't have any gaps of time where I have been missing from home, chances are I wasn't the one in London. England. This was on the 19th of November. Today is the 30th. If the bank was suspicious enough to freeze the account, don't you think a quick call or email to me might be in order?? Shitheads.

So I spent the day deleting that card from any auto-pay feature at any online shopping place that I frequent. Pay-pal, A.mazon, etc. Now don't start lecturing me about the hazards of using a debit card online. I know. I preach that to the boys all the time. I will tell you that I do not EVER click on links in emails from anywhere requesting data... even if they tell me it is urgent or my recent purchase will implode-blah-blah-blah....I do not frequent questionable sites, my debit card is never out of my reach, and it has never been lost. I am what they call a "smart" consumer, well aware of phishing, spamming, I know to check the browser before I enter info to make sure it is a secure site and all that crap. So, this leaves me to wonder what happened. Obviously someone snagged my number (along with the 3 digits on the back-which is even worse) to attempt purchasing.

Did I tell you that as well as the $1500 attempt on the 19th, they also attempted to buy a bus ticket...again in London...YESTERDAY. This was only a $51 charge and the bank says that I need to file a dispute form to fight it. EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD MY ACCOUNT FROZEN AT THE TIME. When I called the bank today, they said it was "in process". How it was "in process" on a frozen account is beyond me. Double shitheads.

So, no more debiting for me. Which really sucks because it was really nice to be able to use that for my little nonsense items like K.indle books at 99 cents or a fast trip to the store for milk. I don't want to use a credit card for teeny crap like that and I never have cash in my purse. According to my children "nobody" uses real checks any more (and I have actually heard those are more dangerous because they have your routing number and account number, which when used wisely by a savvy thief, could wipe you out. )

The FRAUD lady told me even she has been victimized the same way. Hers was linked back to using a card to pay for a burger....then all hell broke loose. She said people sometimes open a small checking account with a debit card and only keep enough in it that you are willing to lose, and make a deposit when you do want to use it. Yeah. Really convenient lady. So I need to plan ahead if I want to order that awesome pair of gently used crocs on ebay? What if it is Saturday night and the auction is over before Monday morning when I can make a deposit? If I lose out on those purple and yellow striped, form fitted, plasticey substance material shoes .....well, I can't even think about it.

So y'all have been warned.


Ina in Alaska said...

that is a cautionary tale for sure. I am like you regarding monitoring my debit card. What a pain to unravel. so sorry. Happy Holidays..... xo

Yo-yo Mama said...

Your bank sucks ass. Why didn't they attempt to notify you??

Every year when we go on vacation (except for the past 2 years b/c *hellooo!* no job no money, we always get a call from the credit card company the first time we try to use our card b/c they never see any activity on it. They were proactive.

Your bank was REactive and slowly, too.

And sorry, we use checks. No debit cards. We's backwoods here.

Vee said...

It's a real shit! It has happened to me also only my bank called me but I didn't take the call and only found out after I had done my grocery shopping and was checking out and couldn't pay for it. What a waste of time that was!

Raquel's World said...

Oh Crap That completey sucks! And the bank's foolishness is just unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Oh for pete's sake. Your bank is an ass. Sorry, but it's true. And by the way, need a little bit of moral suasion to fix them up. By that I mean, publicize their idiotic ways by writing a letter to the editor of your city paper or getting help from a local news consumer help dude.

I always use my credit card for online purchases because you can always deny services and THEY have to get their own money back.

It's not really your fault. There have been tons of cases where big chains have had their swipe machines compromised or substituted right under those noses. Lucky for me, I'm mostly on a cash budget cause I am rarely out of overdraft. If anybody got my debit card info, they'd be sorely disappointed.

Athena said...

Well that sucks. I only learned recently (when my college age daughter had her debit card compromised) that a credit card is safer to use online. Learn something new every day.

Hate that you have to go through the whole stupid dispute process, but hey, at least they allow that. Good think you aren't responsible for the entire London shopping spree!

Unknown Mami said...

That sucks! I had someone use my credit card that I was in possession of to try and purchase $60 worth of food at McDonald's. The credit card company denied the charge and called me immediately. The bank should have called you.