Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Victimized again!

I got a call this morning on my cell phone from an 800 number. It was a recorded message telling me to call them back regarding a fraud issue with my bank account. Of course, I freaked out and called back immediately. I spoke briefly with someone who put me on hold for almost a half hour. I was at work so I had to hang up before anyone came back. When I called back during my lunch hour, I spoke with someone who took my info and said "we didn't call you." Uh-oh. "Yes you did", I told her. "I'm looking at your number on my cell phone right now." She said "I don't know what to tell you. You might want to call your bank." Double uh-oh! I thought I was talking to the bank. "No", she said, "we're a third party fraud monitoring company that works for your bank." So I hung up and called the 800 number for my bank and asked for the fraud department. I'm not going to tell you who I bank with but it sorta rhymes with Yahoo (I know sometimes it's funny to say something rhymes with a word that actually is the word you're trying to conceal, but that's not what I'm doing here. I don't bank with Yahoo and I don't think you should either. Only because I don't think they're that kind of institution.) I told the guy my whole story up to that point and mentioned that I was concerned about two things: A) my bank account and B) the fact that the people at the first 800 number refused to acknowledge calling me. This guy was either very busy or, you know, an asshole, because I got the very distinct impression that he really wasn't interested in walking me through this. "I don't know about the other 800 number but you don't have to worry about anything because your debit card was cancelled earlier this morning and you'll have your new one in seven to ten days", he said. I told him that I didn't really consider that reassuring since i hadn't requested the card be cancelled and how was I supposed to get cash for the next week and a half and... "Yeah. Ok. Well, you'll have that new card in seven to ten days. Have a nice day. Click!" I'm not sure if he just hung up or actually said the word 'click' but he seemed like the kind of guy who might do something like that. Now I had three problems. I left work early and went to my bank branch and spoke to a manager who was very helpful. He listened to my story, called his superiors and verified the first 800 number was legit and explained that they were probably calling to tell me the card was being cancelled but never got to because I couldn't hang on. He also apologized for the difficulty I'd had on the phone and verified that my account was fine. Long story short, this is probably tied to the whole Sweetbay mess. And it's a pain in the ass but I'm really not at much risk.

So upon learning that I'm apparently a victim of identity theft, albeit probably not significantly, my initial reaction is to think that identity thieves really need to raise their standards. Seriously, who would want to be me? Part of me wants to wish them luck with my identity. Maybe they'll do better with it than I have. Haw haw.

My second reaction is to get my paranoia flowing and barricade myself inside my apartment. I'm not answering the phone, reading text messages or opening email. I'm afraid to check my eBay auction of a small lot of vintage hockey cards. I don't trust my television or even my microwave. I think the toaster and the coffee maker were talking about me just before I went in the kitchen. Sure, they acted like they weren't, being all silent and inanimate, but it was an awkward kind of silent inanimateness-ancy. Just writing this is giving me the heebie jeebies and as soon as it's posted, I'm turning my computer off. I know for a fact that the cats are trying to kill me but that's standard. In fact, their consistency is actually a small source of comfort.

But otherwise, how do I know that everybody else isn't out to get me? I don't!


citizen jane said...

Yikes. That's scary but a sad reality.

And just for the record, my computer is NOT taking any notes on you. I checked.

I'm also thinking the beaver dam on your balcony is a good line of defense... just in case.

Katie said...

You always need to be careful of those Microwave ovens! Oh the stories I have heard about them....

but seriously, that is really scary!

Denise said...

Me, too. The whole Sweetbay deal, that is. My bank handled it MUCH more nicely, though. I still think Sweetbay should have sent me a damn apology.