Well, I just found out I was the victim of credit card fraud.  I can’t believe it!  Luckily, they didn’t get away with it.  They were in San Bernadino CA so the bank thought a $600 purchase at Target was a bit suspicious.  Then they tried for a $400 purchase and then within 15 minutes they went to another store and were denied again!  Score one (and only one) for Bank of America.

Ever since SeaFirst was bought by Bank of America they have gone downhill in my opinion.  It doesn’t seem as easy to deal with Customer Service.  Maybe it is just that big Corporate conglomeration hanging over my head.  Anyway, my Visa had been getting denied at various times over the last week and I thought maybe the magnetic strip on the back was coming to the end of its life.  The card was expiring in April after all.  However, it worked randomly enough that I didn’t think much of it – I’d call the bank when I got around to it.

Today I received an email from Verizon that my payment was not authorized through the automatic payment system.  How could that be?  They aren’t swiping the card.  Okay, time to call the bank.  I zip out to my car during work and enter all my account info, SSN, home phone number.  I listened to the unauthorized charges and recognize the most recent ones (that was me being denied at various stores because of a faulty magnetic strip, right?), then they say “Feb 6 at Target $600” – what?  Did I go to Target last week?  I surely didn’t spend $600 … I finally get to the Customer Service guy.  He says his name so fast I can’t understand him.  I have to reconfirm the last four of my SSN.  I tell him my card has been denied and it can’t be the magnetic strip because Verizon is on auto-payment.  He says yes, my card has been blocked because of fraudulent appearing bills.  I ask why am I just finding out about this if they are the ones who know and have blocked my card?  And why am I still able to use the card when it’s been blocked?  He says some charges are still allowed through.  He transfers me to the Fraud department so they can explain it.

Fraud lady answers after about 8 minutes of hold music.  She asks me to verify my billing address.  Dude, I was just transferred from one of your associates who already verified me – why are you asking for it again?  (I’m usually not this bitchy but I’d had 8 minutes to find some attitude.)  She said that the previous Customer Service Rep didn’t let her know what he had asked to verify me and my account.  Actually, that wasn’t my point.  I’ve been verified, why are you verifying me again?  I guess it’s fraud and I should be happy about that.  Anyway, she tells me the account was flagged on Feb 6 with the Target charge and did I authorize that?  Then she mentioned that it was a Target in San Bernadino CA.  I said I definitely didn’t authorize that.  I tell her I have possession of my card…. was it on the internet?  How could this be?  She said it was flagged because the purchase was in California and it didn’t match my spending habits.  I said that was good.  Then I got pissed.  I asked why was this the first time I was hearing about it?  Why am I calling them about my card not working when they had blocked it a week ago?  How have I been able to still use my card – thinking I’m being denied because of a magnetic strip?  Give me a break people!  Work with me here – you are the bank, you are supposed to protect my accounts!  I said I have a home phone, a cell phone, there is email and fax – well, okay, I don’t have a fax… she replied that they DID try to call – and she rattled off my home phone number.  *lightbulb moment*  I said, oh yes, I did get a couple voicemails from the bank.  It was a recording that said to press 1 if I was Jyll.  I figured it was a solicitor so I didn’t try to call back.  Gee, that really informs me of the fraud that is happening on my account!

So, my Visa has been canceled.  A new one will be issued to me within 5-7 business days.  I have to transfer all of my automatic payments to another card before services are canceled left and right!  This is truly lame.  However…. *enter silver lining*…  At least none of the charges went through from the bad guys!  Thwarted!!!   Roar!!!

Jyll Hoyrup Intuition Expert

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