Yesterday afternoon, I got a phone call from my bank. I saw the name on the caller ID and almost didn’t answer – I figured they were just going to try to sell me a mortgage or something. (One thing I’ve noticed about working from home is that I get a lot of telemarketing calls during the day.) I did answer, and it was someone from my bank’s fraud prevention department, calling to verify some recent transactions. I have no credit cards, and I pretty much live on my debit card, so this didn’t strike me as too strange. The lady from the bank asked me if I had done a balance inquiry from an ATM on Saturday. Um, no. I never do balance inquiries at ATM’s. If I want to know how much is in my account, I use the bank’s website. So by now, I was kind of alarmed. She then asked me when the last time was that I used my debit card. I racked my brain and the last time I could think of was Wednesday, when I went to the grocery store shortly before my parents arrived. Then she asks, “So you haven’t made any ATM withdrawals today?” Um, NO!! Panic was starting to set in by this point, I could feel the tears rising up.
Basically, it looks like someone managed to get ahold of both my debit card number and my PIN, which is crazy because I’m always very careful about protecting that when I have to enter it, and I haven’t lost my card. Plus, my PIN isn’t even something easy to guess like my birthday, it’s the one that was randomly generated by the bank. So this person did the balance inquiry to find out how much was in my account on Saturday, and then yesterday, they took out 3 separate $500 ATM withdrawals. In one day. My checking account is now overdrafted to all hell. The good news is that I’ll get my money back, and they won’t charge me the overdraft fees. The sucky part is that it will take 2 to 3 business days to get the money back, and in the meantime, my debit card has been cancelled and they’ll have to send me a new one. So I just have to pray that no expenses come up this week that require more than the $20 I have in cash. Oh, and did I mention that rent is due tomorrow? Hooray! I’m more pissed than anything, to know that some stupid piece of shit got away with $1500 scot-free and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. That’s just infuriating.
And a quick retraction: My sister pointed out that every time I’ve talked about Dave’s guest room, I’ve called the color lavendar, and the word is actually spelled lavender. I looked it up and she was right. Dammit. I hate it when I misspell words. The funny thing is that every time I read it with the -er, I thought someone had made a typo. Oh well.
Oof. Oh, Cindy, I am the Queen of Debit Card Disasters. That sucks so much. It's just so frustrating. I once had a customer service rep from the Bible Belt Bank in E. Bumblef*ck, PA ask me (after my debit card was replaced, lost in mail, re-issued with wrong PIN and eaten by an ATM in Florida) if I had prayed about it. (I feel like I've told this story a lot lately, sorry folks) Did I PRAY for them to do their damn jobs? Not so much.But it sounds like you'll be back on track by the weekend. If not, I know a certain redheaded computer geek who would probably loan you some cash. 😉 Hang in there, bebe.
That's unbelievable, Angie. The minute a customer service person asks me about anything to do with my religious convictions is the minute I ask to speak with a supervisor. (Aside: I was once so infuriated by a Dell customer service guy that when I asked to speak to his manager, he said no. I hung up, called back, and asked the new guy answering the phone for a manager. It worked. Hee.) I'm not worried too much about the lack of money at the moment. There's also a certain British boyfriend who can help me out if I find myself in a bind. Besides, this could be a good thing. Instead of shopping for groceries this week, I'll be forced to eat all the stuff that's been lying around my pantry for ages. Campbell's Hearty Soups and Lean Cuisines, here I come.
Ick, freaky. Makes you wonder who's been watching you. And how the heck do you make an ATM transaction without the card? Must be someone intercepted your mail. I'm glad they called you and I'm glad you're getting it sorted out. If I see someone walking around couting $20 bills adding up to $1500, I'll kick them in the kneecaps for you. 😉 And I thought it was lavendar, too. drat. I was recently corrected on wierd– weird. It's still making me nuts.
hi. Yeah, things like that have happened to me, too. Twice. It made me feel violated. The first time, someone stole my wallet out of my purse and left my purse there. Then they racked up $5000 worth of charges by the time I could cancel the cards. Including a very expensive meal at a very nice restaurant in the city that I myself have never been able to afford, and a ton of $200 gift cards at a variety of stores. The second time, someone broke into my car, opened my wallet, took my credit and debit cards out of my wallet, put everything back where it was, and then locked my car up again. I had no idea anything was missing for days, which gave them plenty of time to use my cards. I eventually figured out that someone broke into my car while I was in the gym. Bastards.
Also, I'm always amazed at how well banks are able to catch things like that. The time my cards were taken out of my car, by the time I called the bank, they said they already knew, had already flagged my credit card, and had already left a message on my voicemail at work, the only valid number they had on file. It's amazing how their systems work to catch things like that.
I'm convinced there's a special level of the Inferno saved for those who engage in identity theft.
Dude, you have $1500 in the bank at the end of the month?You are rich!
I'm glad you aren't going to suffer any long-term problems because of it. I learned a few years ago that it's a bad idea to rely on debit cards for day-to-day expenses. It is much better to use a credit card from a big company. It's a lot safer and you get more benefits too.
No, I didn't have $1500. Hence why my account is now overdrafted. And keep in mind that what I had in there was mostly reserved for rent. Which is due today.Thank god for the 5-day grace period. And I used to have credit cards, but I was very bad in college, so they had to go away. They're all in a debt consolidation plan now. I'll be credit card debt free in November 2008. Then I can think about getting another credit card.