8.19.2011

Ugh, stop stealing my money!



 So I've been frauded. Again. Some more. Is this because I'm a Utah Mormon? Thing is, I wasn't approached by someone at church who wanted to include me in a righteous and holy business venture to build my own wealth and by extension The Kingdom. Nope. Nothing so exciting. Somebody got a hold of my credit card numbers and used them.

A couple of weeks ago GH got a call from Travelocity to ask if he really for sure wanted to purchase a ticket through Bankok Airways. He did not. That was our American Express card. We called up, canceled the card, put a notice on our credit report, all of that.

Yesterday, I found a $100 charge on my Wells Fargo debit card for something called Dr. Jays clothing, where one may purchase sneakers, jeans, and urban clothing. There was also a $68 Paypal transaction. Got to call Wells Fargo and go through the drill. "Yes, I promise that I didn't buy anything from Dr. Jays. And that I didn't use my debit card to make a Paypal transaction. I don't generally use my debit card online. And no, I didn't hand my debit card to anyone and tell them to go shopping with it either. I'm not that nice."

I am not sure how it happened, but that does seem like kind of a coincidence, don't you think? I am very grateful that Wells Fargo and USAA are not holding me responsible for the fraudulent charges. But I'm a little peeved that people are going to steal my money and identity and then do something so . . . pedestrian with it. Buying a pair of Nikes? Seriously? Let's review.

2002: Three envelopes containing checks written by me were stolen out of our (unsecured) apartment mailbox. They were washed and re-used. One of them was cashed at Ream's grocery store and was used, if the memo line is to be believed, on "smokes and pants for dad." My angry response to that: "As IF I would be buying cigarettes and Wranglers!!!"

2011: The charges were all in small amounts for small airlines--Bankok Airways, EasyJet, etc. Better than Wranglers, but still kind of small potatoes.

Also 2011: $68 for something online and $100 on hoodies or whatever. I know I should be grateful that they didn't go nuts, but part of me wants to go, "Ugh. Way to dream big there, @$$holes."

There was, though, the 2004 episode. I got a call from my bank asking if I happened to be in Italy. I, alone in my Provo apartment kitchen, most certainly was not, but that did sound quite nice. An unauthorized party was using my credit card to buy Italian shoes, Eurail passes, and expensive dinners. I poured myself a cold drink and sat back while asking the bank representative to go very, very, slowly through every single charge while I closed my eyes and murmured appreciatively.

Because at least somebody with illegal access to my money knew how to live, dangit.
Image: Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

14 comments:

Señora H-B said... [reply]

Ugh. Seriously. You have the worst luck. When my debit card got stolen, it was to by $300 worth of computer equipment. I wish it had been something more exciting, like a trip to Italy.

Kara said... [reply]

We know that pain too well here. Last year my husband's card number was used to buy $500 in iTunes, and $1,000 of prostitutes. Really.

And yes, I am sure it was not my husband using the card.

Also this week our van was vandalized. The repair is $2500, but our deductible is $500. It sure feels like someone has stolen my money and my time.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kara, oh my gosh. That is way, way, way worse. And that really stinks about your van. What is even wrong with people???

Kayla said... [reply]

What is WRONG with people?? They need jobs. And, apparently, hobbies. Their expenditures are kind of sad...

Kara- I'm so so sorry. That really sucks.

Cooldad said... [reply]

Kara...just a quaestion about the prostitute chare. What that $1K for a single prostitue or multiple experiences.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Um, Mom? Dad's asking about how much prostitutes cost . . .

I admit I was curious too.

Kara said... [reply]

It was a single charge to "Anastasia's", an escort service in New York. The bill wasn't itemized, so I can't say exactly what they purchased. However, if you were a guy buying myself a "party" with stolen money, you'd probably buy their most expensive "date", and then keep trying to use the card for more "dates" until it no longer worked. We immediately noticed the charge and canceled our card. Apparently our bank was not alarmed by the fact that we were suddenly in New York buying hookers.

Elsha said... [reply]

That really sucks. I do think those small-charge people are thinking a little at least. See, a credit card company is more likely to notice (and be suspect of) huge charges than they are of say, $100 on hoodies. In fact, one time my parents bought plane tickets for the whole family and it cost something like $5,000 and the used their credit card so little that the company flagged the charge and called to make sure it was them.

Bebe McGooch said... [reply]

Way to make me laugh about a crappy situation.

I second the major "ouch" for Kara, though.

When my brother's card got stolen on his honeymoon, the thief bought cigars and rodeo tickets. Living large, that one.

Ana said... [reply]

I heard on Etsy once that someone used their PayPal to buy a car! Lesson: don't have your bank account accessible via PayPal!

Mostly though I just think that scammers are STOOOOO-PID. Fairly recently I received an email from a friend who clearly had her email account hacked. The email announced that they had gone on a surprise trip to Europe without telling anyone and that their luggage was stolen/lost and their passports and they were stranded with no money and begged for our help. Um. RIIIIIIIIGHT. As it happened this couple would be the most UNLIKELY people to be on a surprise trip in Europe right now. They were living in Sendai at the time of the massive devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Japan earlier this year and fled to Okinawa with their family. Sendai you say - where is THAT? Why it's the city that had their AIRPORT washed away :P

Liz Johnson said... [reply]

Somebody used my credit card to make a large purchase at knives.com... and then donated $1,000 to Save the Children. What the? Does donating to charity with a stolen credit card make sense to anybody?!

Janssen said... [reply]

This comment stream is the best ever.

So sorry about your money being stolen AGAIN!

goddessdivine said... [reply]

That SUCKS!! I'm so sorry. But yeah, I was thinking along the same lines as Elsha. Smaller purchases = less chance of getting noticed right away. And for all we know, these losers are stealing from multiple people and charging things right and left.

May these jerks rot in hell.

emandtrev said... [reply]

I am so sorry!

Did you see that news story about the scam targeting Wells Fargo customers/debit cards with a phone call saying your account is in hold status or something like that? We got one of those the other night. At 11:00 p.m. Not suspicious at all!

P.S. I would pay bucks to see you purchase a pair of Wranglers. ;-)

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