LatherRinseRepeat--Yeah right

Ramblings of an over-worked, over-tired SAHM

Monday, March 06, 2006

America's Dumbest Criminals!!!!!

Thursday morning, D. calls me from work and says he was going over the checking account. I roll my eyes at the phone expecting another one of those "where does all the money go?" conversations. You know the kind, where he asks why I've spent close to $500 at the grocery store in the last few weeks and I go on to explain all about the cost of diapers and meat and fresh produce and when all else fails, I fall back on sarcasm and explain that "I just had to have that cute little 4 pack of paper towels because they were just oh-so-cute with the little froggies and fish on them". Then of course, there is my addiction to toilet paper, which he seems to think we use way too much of. ~eyes rolling again~ I mean, hello, I'm a girl and I'm home most of the time which means frequent trips to the restroom and anything I do that involves the toilet, requires toilet paper. Soorrrrr- rreeee! But for once this conversation wasn't our normal, "where did all the money go?" talk. This time there was a problem.

It seems that there were some charges for a credit reporting website, some kind of bill paying website, and some pharmaceutical company. So, D. asked if I knew anything about them. Nope, sure didn't, but I called the bank to find out what they were. Turns out that these items were charges on our debit mas-tercard. We have only had these cards for a few weeks because the bank just re-issued them to us because they had some sort of security breech. I was told they would flag our account as possible fraud and I needed to call the individual companies to try to resolve it, then call the bank back if I needed to cancel the cards and new ones re-issued.

So, I called the credit reporting place first. There were 3 charges total. Two for $24.95 each and one for $5. Turns out that a Geneva Houston and Lakesha Houston (names not changed because there are no innocent to protect in my humble opinion) had used our mas-tercard number to check their credit reports and Geneva was so concerned that she upgraded to a monthly monitoring service for hers. Ain't that a kick in the shorts?!!! She uses a STOLEN credit card number to keep track of her precious credit. B!TCH!!!!! Oh, and of course, this company won't refund my money until I write a letter to them and include a copy of a police report. Nice, huh? They'll take anyone's credit card number regardless of whether the billing information matches anything but to get the money back, I have to jump through hoops. Great.

So, then I call the bill paying service which it turns out they used to pay their electric bill. This time they hit us for $184.95. This company would not give me any information at all. I was told they would work with my bank or with the police if they had to but they couldn't tell me anything at all. Well, that's not entirely true. They COULD give me information IF I knew the account number that was paid using my card. ~eyes rolling again~ Hello?? If it wasn't my account and I don't know who the hell the person that used my card number is, then how the fuck would I know the account number?!!! So, I moved on.

Finally, I called the pharmaceutical company. The customer service person I spoke to was actually NICE about the situation. What a difference from the other 2 people I talked to. This time, I hit the information jackpot. They ordered a $10.99 bottle of diet pills. BIG MISTAKE!! The customer service lady gave me the billing name they used, which was D.'s name transposed (they used his first name as the last name and the last name as the first name - and no, our last name would not be considered any kind of normal first name, but as I said at the top, these are America's dumbest criminals). She gave me the billing address, the mail to name and address, which was Lashayla Smith but the address just so happens to match the address I found on the internet for Lakesha. She also gave me the phone number and the email address. SCORE!!!!

So, I called our bank and had our cards cancelled and re-issued. Then I called our local police department and asked what I needed to do to report fraudulent activity involving our debit mas-tercard. They said, "oh, credit card fraud? We'll send an officer over right away to get your complaint". YAY!! So, I gave them all the information and now I just have to wait to hear from the detective. I hope they nail this B!TCH.

Friday, D. checked the account again and asked me if I'd ever heard of a a certain distributing company. I said, "no, should I have?" He said there's a charge of $49.29 on our account from them. CRAP!! Just when I thought it was over. Turns out the charge had been made the day before we discovered all the other stuff. I called the bank and let them know, then I called the company. After waiting on hold forever and speaking to some idiot who wouldn't listen just kept telling me he needed my account number before he could do anything, I finally got a supervisor on the line. We went back and forth a bit with her telling me she couldn't do anything until the bank contacted them and debited back the charges. Finally, I convinced her to just try to look up the account using the information I had gotten from the pharmaceutical company. Knowing that this "person" who used my card was dumb enough to most likely pay her HOME electric bill with it, I figured she'd be dumb enough to use the same alias or phone or email addy. Sure enough, they found it using the email addy. Turns out the package was out for delivery that day but hadn't been delivered yet. They called the delivery company and got the driver that had the package to return to the package. Yippee!!! Hope she waited all day for her delivery that never came. At least this time, getting a refund shouldn't be a problem. As soon as the package comes back to them, they will refund it to our account. Turns out this Lakesha had several accounts with them that had ALL been closed for fraud, and there were several other accounts using that email that were also closed for fraud. Some people never learn. Hope this ends up being her LESSON.

By the way, we're pretty sure we know where our credit card number was obtained. D. had gone to a local auto supply store and used his card to buy oil and a filter. This place doesn't have those little boxes where you swipe your own card and had handed the cashier his card. He remembers thinking it was a little odd that they still used that thing that makes an imprint of the card, but didn't think much of it at the time. That's the only place he remembers actually handing someone his card recently and since we've only had the cards for a few weeks, it wasn't too hard to track down. Hope they nail whoever works at that store that started this whole mess.

It's been a definite hassle and took alot of phones calls and still isn't completely resolved but I'm hoping we've seen the last of this. Moral of the story - WATCH your credit cards, don't let them out of your sight, destroy all carbon copies of your cards, and CHECK your bank accounts everyday for possible fraudulent activity. End of lecture, have a nice day. I'll update you with further developements. Hey, maybe I'll even post a mug shot when they nail this B!TCH.

3 Comments:

  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A place we have recently seen card theft is when you go to a restaurant, pay by card - look at both receipts when they bring them to you to sign. YOUR COPY should have your full credit card number on it and the restaurant copy should only have the last FOUR DIGITS. We've seen 3 restaurants lately that their copy has all of the numbers and ours does not. It is perfectly legal to cross out the entire card number on their copy.

     
  • At 3:10 PM, Blogger Ann said…

    Good point. I'll have to check that next time we go out. Actually, the only restaurant we went to during this time period was a Thai place that we go to all the time and know the owners well. It definitely wasn't there.

     
  • At 8:04 PM, Blogger Erica said…

    PEOPLE SUCK!!! The only happiness you should feel is the fact they needed your credit card to pay bills and buy cheap stuff because they can't afford it. I will trade problems with you at the moment, but not forever!! XO

     

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