Hey, I'm still alive, but I'm relegated to only posting from home, since I no longer have access to the Internet while at work—including on my own time. (And I'm working overtime again, so that's just less time at home.)
I haven't only been neglecting my blogging. I've also been procrastinating my bill paying, too, since I do all of it online. Tonight, as I was preparing to pay a credit card statement, I noticed some activity on the card that I knew
For starters, I haven't used the card in more than three months. It sits in a hidden location in my house...I don't carry it around with me.
Second, and most ironically, there were two transactions on the same day (3/19), of more than $500 each, from...Victoria's Secret. Make all the jokes you want to, but the fact is that I have never been into a Victoria's Secret store in my life—heck, when I walk by one, I intentionally look the other direction! I have no wife or girlfriend to buy lingerie for (not that I would need to buy lingerie for a girlfriend anyway), nor do I have any other reason to step onto their real estate. So there.
Third, the purchases made (four in total before I called the fraud department) put my account balance over the credit limit for the card. Not by tens, but by hundreds
of dollars. I may not have the brightest mind out there (sometimes I'm about as sharp as a cue ball) but I know not to go over my limit on my credit cards by hundreds of dollars.
This whole thing really came as a shock to me because I believe I have taken many steps to protect myself against this type of fraud. My mailing address is a locked post office box. I don't carry my cards on my person. I do receive those annoying, useless "convenience checks" but I always (cross-cut) shred them. My statements are kept inside of my locked house and I only keep a year's worth, after which I shred them. I rarely make purchases online, and when I do, it's always
on a secure site with an https:
Whoever stole my identity was able to manufacture a new card in my name. I know this because the credit card company said that the purchases were swiped,
not made online or with a convenience check. This means that there is a fake card out there with my name and number on it, with a forged signature (in case the merchants actually bother to check
the signature). Fortunately, the credit card company noticed the unusual activity and stopped a $950 transaction from paying. So sorry, Nordstrom. I'm sure the clothes were nice.
The account is now closed, but I still need to call another fraud office tomorrow to individually dispute the transactions. So there goes my lunch break. Guess I'll have to read my Grisham novel while driving again.