Credit Card Theft and Due Diligence - Live Like a Mensch
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Credit Card Theft and Due Diligence

Last week, while hard at work on my (now finished!!) manuscript, I made the executive decision that I didn't have time to make lunch. (Which was pretty hilarious considering the fact that the amount of time it would take for me to slap some PB and some J on a couple of slices of bread was less than the amount of time it would take for me to order something).

My favorite "I don't have time to make lunch" solution is to order a sandwich from Jimmy Johns. Not only does a sandwich quickly arrive at my door--accompanied by a diet cola, if I so choose--but I can put in my order online and refrain from having to speak to anyone. If I pay with my credit card, I can even get away with just grunting vaguely at the delivery person rather than having to ask for change. It's an introvert's dream!

So, last week, not feeling particularly social, I attempted to order my sandwich using my credit card so that I could allow my verbal skills to completely atrophy.

Unfortunately, I must have transposed a number on the security code, because my card was declined. I shrugged and changed my payment option to cash instead.

Little did I know that my credit card company has been on the lookout for wanton fraudulent sandwich charges.

Within one minute of completing my order online, I received an automated phone call from my credit card company asking me to confirm the attempted charge.

Meanwhile, I also received an email directing me to my online account, also asking me to confirm the attempted charge.

After several moments, I started listening for the sound of helicopters with fraud detection agents rappelling into my living room to question me about the attempted charge.

(It was in the midst of this paranoia that Jimmy Johns decided to stop by with my sub. I think I was even less coherent than usual as I handed over the 8 bucks plus tip).

Apparently, there has been a major data breach of credit card information, meaning credit card companies are taking absolutely no chances.

After confirming the fact that I am simply an overworked idiot and that no one has made unauthorized use of my credit card for an $8 sandwich purchase, I assumed that was the end of it.

Then, this weekend, I recieved a letter from my credit card company alerting me to the fact that I have been issued a new card with a new number, just in case.

While part of me wants to roll my eyes at this, I do have to admit that I'd prefer them to take this issue too seriously rather than not seriously enough.

However, apparently my current card will continue to be usable for several weeks.

And this is the point at which I start banging my head against the wall.

Yes, I'd prefer to still be able to use my card--especially since the "fraudulent charge" was nothing more than either fat fingers or blurred vision on my part. But if the charge truly had been fraudulent, wouldn't it make more sense to just shut the whole thing down?

Add in the fact that my credit card has "helpfully" sent me some cash advance checks* for the new card number, and I'm wondering if the credit card industry has ever encountered a major problem that they could not figure out a way to make more money out of.

I guess this is what I get for insisting on an $8 sandwich when I could easily have had peanut butter and jelly.

*Cash advance checks are evil like the fru-its of the devil. The customer service representative I spoke to in order to clarify some of the issues I mention above was truly taken aback when I told him that they are evil. He was very sorry to hear me say that.

I'll bet he was.



bobi said:

I agree about those checks (I've never used them but find them annoying and evil anyway.) I'm sure you know that you can opt-out of this helpful "service" and you'll never see another one of those little devils and your shredder will go hungry!

August 19, 2013 1:56 PM

haverwench said:

You can? How? I HATE those blasted checks! We get them all the time, and it drives us nuts!

August 19, 2013 2:30 PM

frugal_fun said:

I think you just call customer service of the credit card company and "voila* they try to convince you that you really need cash advance checks. ;) No really, they will stop sending them. Anyway, I remember doing it a long time ago. I just gave up on it. I figure that I'm reducing the profit margin of the credit cards ever so slightly by sending mine right to the shredder.

August 19, 2013 5:01 PM

bobi said:

@haverwench, frugal_fun is correct, just call customer service and no more checks! You can opt out of all their mailings and I do it mostly for environmental reasons though cutting into their profit margin is tempting but I have infinity cards so I already do that on a different level :)

August 19, 2013 9:24 PM

haverwench said:

I'm cutting into their profit margin already just by being a deadbeat (their term for customers who always pay their balance in full and on time, so that the company collects neither interest nor penalty fees). But they still get their cut from the merchants who use the cards, so they've got nothing to whine about. I want to eliminate the convenience checks partly for environmental reasons and partly because of the small but nonzero risk that someone might swipe them out of our mailbox and get access to our accounts that way. Technically, we wouldn't actually be liable for any of the fraudulent charges, but sorting out the situation would no doubt be a huge hassle.

August 20, 2013 11:59 AM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Online banking can be a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, we are now able to pay our bills online

October 25, 2013 9:07 AM

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