Posted in Money Mondays
Before I retired, I toyed with the idea of getting a fun job in retirement. Since I wouldn’t need a living wage anymore, it could be something purely for passion, like working in a wine-tasting room, or becoming a personal trainer, or starting a dog-walking business.
Besides the idea of working for fun, I’ve often considered the idea that I could probably perform some jobs a whole lot better than some of the people that I encounter doing them now. For example, the majority of the times that I have had to call the Internal Revenue Service with a question or a problem, I wonder how on earth they could possibly train so many help-line representatives to be that amount of unhelpful.
I don’t want to single out governmental agencies, the same thought strikes me every single time I call my health insurance company about an incorrectly denied claim. (I’m convinced that they count on most of us giving up in frustration and just footing the bill ourselves to avoid the stress of the calls. I can feel a post coming on about that, but it will have to wait for another time.)
Because right now I’m thinking my services would be really helpful in the fraud department of my credit card company. You may remember, it was only about a month ago that I told you of the story of the thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges for Birkenstocks and cigarette papers that my credit card company failed to notice were odd. Over the years, they have alerted us to fraudulent charges of tiny amounts of money, so I was pretty surprised they would miss such unusually large charges.
But this week, I’ve decided they really need me to work there, or rather they need my husband. When we got the bill this month, Doug noticed a charge at Home Depot. That wouldn’t be that odd for us except that Doug didn’t remember going to Home Depot, and he knows I would never willingly go there. So he looked up the store number on-line, hoping to jog his memory of a trip there. It was a store located in Arizona. The next charge was for a women’s clothing retailer that he knows I do not frequent, also in Arizona.
He called both Home Depot and Limited Express to see if he could get some more information. Home Depot had nothing for him but Express looked up the reference number and could see that a physical card had been used. Both our cards are in our possession; our card had been cloned. They were even able to tell him the name that popped up when the card was swiped (not ours, by the way.)
So he called the credit card company, who to their credit, promptly reversed the charges, cancelled the card, and sent us new cards (for the second time in 3 months). He asked the agent why she thought there weren’t more fraudulent charges after that—all the subsequent charges were indeed ours. She told him that she could see that a couple of charges had actually been rejected, as they suspected fraud, so probably the person with the cloned card just tossed it after it ran out of juice.
So what I don’t understand is, if the fraud department at the credit card company actually suspected fraud and even went so far as to deny a couple of charges, why didn’t they call us to tell us that there had been fraudulent activity? In fact, I recall several years ago, when they suspected fraud, our card simply stopped working. I still remember the waiter’s face when he brought back our rejected card after a lovely meal in San Francisco. No, we didn’t have to wash dishes.
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