about two years ago my chase visa check card got compromised…
…which is east to believe.
if you have a friend that banks where you do look at your cards together some time. you’ll notice the numbers are virtually identical, save for the last four. that’s why when you pay online and save card info it ONLY shows those last four – they’re the only unique ones.
so it made sense that a bank as big as chase could easily get duped off this way. my solution? smaller bank! i went to first lockhart national bank (where they know me ’cause my family banked there for years) and started an account. i figured that was safe, but apparently i figured wrong. how it was handled was even wronger.
(holy fuck – how did spellcheck not flag “wronger”? that’s a word now? my grandmother would be pissed!)
last week i did a wal~mart run to get a flea collar and new food for the pups (to the tune of $75 – and that was ONE of each). the flea collar was due to some online research by the ufc and the fact that the little drop stuff wasn’t working. when we were at the vet the day before we learned two things:
1. their flea stuff (pill) was good for ninety days and cost $50 per dog, but this newer flea collar had good reviews, cost $60, but was good for EIGHT months
2. no dog has ever been found to be allergic to any grain and hence the “grain-free dog food” craze we had hopped on thinking it would help budnik with some skin issues “was more emotion than science” riding on the coat tails of the whole “gluten-free” movement.
the grain free we had them on wasn’t available locally and was getting harder to find. we had run ass out and were at the vets getting canned food because we knew they had one that DIDN’T upset budnik’s delicate digestive tract. i had, in the past, used just regular iams large breed with good results and since that was the brand of grain-free that budnik had done okay on (still through up once or twice, though) i grabbed that along with the $55 eight month flea collar and went to check out, grabbing some fresh carrot juice along the way because…well…i like carrot juice.
the total was just under eighty bucks, but knowing i had almost four times that in my lockhart account, and i was at the lockhart wal~mart, i slid the card in the chip reader, ran it as debit, and tried to get another twenty in walking-around money.
we ran it as credit, minus the walking around money. declined again. i’m kinda anal about my bank balances, so i check my apps every morning and KNEW the dough was there. i went to call the bank and realized it was only 8:45am and they open at nine, so i drove to a FLNB atm down the road and put my card in, punched in my PIN, went through the menus and pulled a hundred bucks. then the screen went blank, save for the words “UNAUTHORIZED USAGE” and then it went back to the home screen.
now i was pissed. and it was 8:57. so i called, they answered, and said (after several security questions) that my card was dead due to fraudulent activity, but they couldn’t see what – that was all their internal notes said. fuck this, it’s lockhart – i can be in the main branch in under five minutes…
…and i was.
it turns out FLNB uses a third party fraud protection service that, among other things, flags ENTIRE STATES and denies purchases due to where they rank on some “fraud report” even if said purchase was made from a non-flagged area online (for example, me trying to order from groupon, who’s based out of chicago, and illinois was on the denied list, so my charges mysteriously wouldn’t work). and they caught some other fraud that never made it on to my bank app, so i never knew it was there…my card just suddenly died.
thank christ i was in town. can you picture if i was in round rock and it was 9pm and i was denied access to my money for reasons i had no idea about? the scene at the bank the next day woulda been UGLY.
that’s why i keep an emergency ten dollar bill in my car – JUST in case. i may have to step up the amount. and now that i write this all down, i may need to increase the value of my emergency currency!