Dookyheaded Fraud

fraud

 

There I was, sitting in that red chair, the one next to the window where I can watch the finches feed, when the phone call came.

It was 7:30 p.m.

The yellow finch was at the feeder.

It was a phone number I did not recognize.

I took the call anyway.

It was an automated voice. I started to hang up until they said something about fraud.

Then I listened.

We want to verify some purchases you made today, the woman with the computer voice said.

I hadn’t made any purchases today. Didn’t even go to Starbucks. Well, that’s not true. I went. I just made Tim pay for it.

Did you make a purchase at the ShopRite in New Jersey?

Now they had my interest. I haven’t been in New Jersey since 1904.

Or was that 94?

Who can remember?

Uh. No. I punched the buttons that corresponded with the Oh, Crapola sign.

Wait for a few, the voice said.

After five minutes of truly banal music, a real woman’s voice came over the phone.

“So you didn’t make a purchase in New Jersey today?” she asked.

“Uh, no. I didn’t make a purchase in New Jersey. New York or New Mexico. I haven’t left the house today. I’m on deadline for a book. I ain’t got time for nothing but writing. Besides why in the world would I go to New Jersey? I didn’t leave anything there.”

“Not even your debit card?” she said. “We show withdrawals of $500 at Hatrock, New Jersey. Four of them to be exact.”

“Slap your momma!” I said. (Okay, well I didn’t say that but that’s what I was thinking.)

Maybe she didn’t say Hatrock. I don’t know what she said, exactly. I couldn’t wrap my brain around somebody taking out $2,000 from my bank account.

“You mean to tell me somebody took out $2,000 out of my bank account?” I asked. “I hate for you to repeat yourself but I’m not good with numbers.”

“Yes,” she said.

“How did they do that?”

“They used your card.”

“But my card is right here in my hands,” I said.

“I am sorry.”

“But how can they take out $2,000 when I didn’t have $2,000 in that account?” I asked.

“I’m not sure,” she said.

“So a person who is not the owner of the account can take out money that isn’t there but the owner of the account can’t take out money that isn’t there? How exactly does that work?”

“I’m not sure,” she said.

“But I’m telling you I didn’t have $2,000 in my account. I didn’t have anything close to that. Why did you wait until 8 o’clock at night to call me? How come you didn’t suspect fraud when the idiots took out the first $500?”

“I’m not sure,” she said.

“You keep saying that.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You keep saying that, too.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Tell me again what alerted you to the possibility of fraud? Seeing how I don’t live in New Jersey and haven’t been there since John Edwards was bonking Reille Hunter and denying it.”

“Someone tried to use your card at a Shoprite in New Jersey for a purchase of $72.00. But it was denied.”

“You all denied the purchase? Did you arrest the persons using the card?”

“No.”

“No, what? No, you didn’t arrest anyone?”

“No. I’m sorry.”

“But you let them make four $500 withdrawals to my account without any reservations or alerts at all.”

“Yes.”

“And is that all they took out?”

“Well, no.”

“No?”

“They made an additional purchase for $100 from ShopRite.”

“So they took out four withdrawals for $500 and made a purchase for $100 in goods but you all didn’t alert for fraud until they tried to make another purchase for $72 worth of goods. Is that what you are telling me?’

“Yes, I’m sorry. ”

“Seems to me you all might have a problem in your fraud alert system.”

“I’m not sure.”

“I’m overdrawn $1,500 for the first time in my life through no fault of my own and you aren’t sure if you have a problem or not?”

“I’m sorry. You will have to check with your bank.”

“Aren’t you my bank?”

“No, ma’am. We are the fraud alert service.”

“So my bank contracts with you?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“And your job is to alert them when fraudulent activity might be taking place?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“But you didn’t know any fraud was taking place until they tried to buy $72 worth of beer and chips?”

Silence.

“This after they’d already spent $2,000 on porn.”

Silence.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Did you all use to work for AIG?”

Silence.

“Benny Hinn?”

Silence.

“Congress?”

Silence.

I hope those dooky-heads who hacked into my bank account get Montezuma Revenge. I hope they puke their beer and chips on their pillows. I hope they wake up in a big puddle of their own dooky. I hope they break out in boils in every orifice. I hope their dogs bite their noses off.  I hope their boob jobs leak and their penile implants fail. I hope they choke on their Viagra. I hope someone sews them up in a sheet as they sleep and beats the every loving daylights out of them with a broom handle. I hope they hear Barry Manilow singing Mandy to them all day long and throughout the night, loudly. I hope their mother is a Joan Rivers impersonator and their sisters are the real-life Kardashians. And lastly, I hope they grow warts on their lips so that every lie they speak is woefully painful.

Rest assured, however, that I am praying for them. Praying for this and much more.

 

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? ’cause I need more room for my Plasma TV.

 

 

 

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

4 Comments

AFRoger

about 3 years ago

Isn't it great that all this is possible because we have made the use of electronic "money" so convenient? As a comedian observed some years ago, "Why do they call them convenience stores? A mini tube of toothpaste costs $8.95, and if you need one pair of shoe laces, you can only buy a pack of five or ten. How 'convenient' is that?"

Reply

Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Good insights. Never having bought a pair of socks at 7-11 I had no idea. And yes, the electronic ease has created this mess.

Reply

Jeanette

about 3 years ago

Karen, It is for this reason I get funny looks from folks when I tell them I don't have a DEBIT CARD... Well, I do, but rarely use it and barely keep $50 in it. My regular checking account ATM card is NOT a DEBIT CARD for the reason of what just happened to you. This of course limits where I can use it, however, they must have a PIN Number, of course even those get hacked on occasion, but not as often as credit cards and debit cards. If fraud occurs on your DEBIT CARD... you are immediately out of YOUR money and might have to wait some time to get reimbursed, if this were to occur with a CREDIT CARD, then you dispute the charges, but you are not out any money. I personally was a victim many years ago when someone took the routing number from a personal check of mine and made new checks and I'm not talking the blank ones you purchase at an office supply store, I'm referring they had checks ordered. What I found very interesting is that on the three or four checks, they all had different names, addresses and even different designs, but they all had my bank info and routing number. I really thought that when they would scan your check at the cash register that that was some verification process, as they didn't have my driver's license number and I thought there was at least a cross-verification of that, but it wasn't at that time and I do not know if it is today. Since it was several folks in your town, obviously you all went to the same merchant and it was there there the information was stolen. I spoke to a credit card fraud investigator once and told me that they don't investigate many of these cases because it cost more to investigate than to just credit the account, now you know why the credit card interests are soooooo high, I'm paying for the KFC in Florida and your purchase in NJ. I feel that a simple PIN number w/ every credit card purchase would at least make it a little more difficult. I do appreciate the gas stations that ask for the zip code, but if they take it and use in your neighborhood: just few trys and they will know your zip. Please be sure to file the report with your local police department, many only file with banks, then this would alert them and they can possibly be on the lookout. Sorry my friend for the inconvenience, but thank you for the good laugh!

Reply

Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

All good advice. Thanks JC.

Reply

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