Sunday, September 4, 2011

The insanity of credit card fraud instigated by technology


About 10 years ago I purchased some holiday gifts from Wolferman’s and my credit card number was stolen.

I found out when my son phoned me one day and said, “Hey, Dad, an electronics store in New Jersey just called to verify that you bought $3,800 worth of stuff. What did you buy?”

Unfortunately, my answer was, “Nothing.”

So after phoning the store to cancel the order (which was being shipped to a fictitious address in...wait for it...Africa), and the credit card company, who was great, and cancelling cards, and going through a whole week of anxiety, it eventually melted away from my conscious.

Until yesterday.

My wife’s mobile phone was ringing inside her purse so I answered it. That was my first mistake. I didn’t notice that the caller ID read “Blocked.”

I had an extremely difficult time understanding the caller, who wound up calling that number four times in seven minutes, as two the calls were not answered by me.

From what I thought I understood the word fragments to be from the two calls I answered were “custodian…locker…San Francisco airport…two packages…is this your correct address…since May…cocaine…$18 million…I want to get these to you.”

Hmmm. If you know me, it’s more likely that I would win a Gold Medal for the Triathlon in the Olympics than I would be connected to cocaine. And as for $18 million, sorry, I can’t even count that high.

And the reason why I answered the phone a second time (before the cocaine and $18 million bit) was the fact that he referenced “two packages.”

Recently we ordered two large items from Overstock.com and I thought that possibly this was in reference to that order, as we still haven’t received those packages. After the second phone call, I knew those weren’t it.

Then, what occurred to me, was that the way in which that mobile number which connected to our home address. Through my wife’s Discover Card.

So after much consideration – and prodding from my family – I filed an online police report (which was actually quite efficient – as you could just imagine what it would be like relating this story to the police department over the phone…”Whaaat?!”).

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last of it, but if not, at least I’m on record.

Should you suspect that you may be a victim of credit card fraud, report it immediately to the card company and contact the police. The sooner you act, the lesser the aggravation and stress you’ll experience.

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