Monday, December 8, 2008


We've all had those phone calls from telemarketers and others, where the person calling barely has a grasp of the English language and you hang up in disgust. Well, I hung up twice early Saturday morning. First, I was angry that they were calling at 7:15 in the morning, and secondly because I couldn't understand anything they said other than "Capital One." Which is my credit card company. I assumed they were trying to get me to use the checks they'd sent for my holiday shopping pleasure, or cash in my bonus points or something, and I wasn't in the mood to chit-chat, even when the 2nd caller managed to get in the word "fraud" before I hung up on her. Well, you know what happens when you ASSUME something.

Since I'd gotten two calls within 15 minutes of each other, I thought maybe I'd go online and log on to my Capital One account and see if they had any urgent messages for me. There it was, in big red letters: Account Restricted. Zero credit available. Code such and such. For more information, call 1-800--------
Which I did immediately. Didn't I receive any phone calls, asked the woman whose English skills were even worse than the two I talked to previously. I told her yes, and that I had hung up on them because I thought they were trying to sell me something, etc. That was soooooo not so.

There had been fraudulent activity on my account the day before. Purchases from Lord and Taylor.....and Napster.....both places I had never been. I tried to get her to explain to me how they had known it wasn't me and what had happened, but basically all I got from her (or understood, anyway) was that information had been entered that did not match my account. She went over all my recent activity, letting me tell her which were legitimate and which ones were not (only the two). She said my account was now closed, I would not be held responsible for the fraudulent charges, and a new card would be in my hands within the following week.

I was stunned. I never visited so-called "disreputable" websites (and hadn't used my card in person in over a year). All the websites were secure, well-known, and so forth. BUT....two weeks ago I opened a Pay-Pal account....thinking it would be easier, and safer....because their purpose is to pay for your purchases out of their site, without each and every store seeing your credit card information. I know it's very popular, and used all over the world. But you can't convince me right now that it didn't have something to do with it. And when I closed my account with them (the credit card on file with them is now no longer good anyway), I told them of my thoughts on the subject.

This morning I thought I would go into and do a quick check there to see if they had any postings that shouldn't be there, and my account there was locked up due to possible fraud activity. They will be happy to send me a report if I send them several pieces of identification, and request one in writing. So at least I know they are aware of the situation, and things are being handled. That was my main concern.

I give huge kudos to Capital One for being so on-the-ball, but has caused me to totally rethink my online shopping practices. I shop online A LOT. Hubby says that he will take my credit card when it comes and lock it up, so that I can't take the new, unknown number, and start using it. That's probably a good idea.



I don't shop on line as a rule but have often thought that if I did I would open one account with the smallest credit limit .. for that just in case moment. My son uses paypal a lot and has never had a problem...just saying.

We had a similar thing happen with our master card. We got a call asking if we had been in Florida and if we had purchased gas. The card companys seem to have a way of tracking off beat purchases based on your normal use. Like yours they cancelled out the charge, stopped the card and reissued us new ones. Paul thinks the card number was taken when he bought gas at an out of the way station that he never usually uses.
I always call the card company when we are traveling to let them know we will be using the card out of our normal area so they know the use is legit.

..and while I'm here I'm going to add that I hate that all the call centres seem to have moved overseas. They may think their English is good but I beg to differ. No wonder the economy is in trouble when cheaper/overseas is the basis for business these days

Kathleen said...

I agree with you totally...on all that you said.
I find it hard to understand why we would trust a country like India or Pakistan or wherever these people are, with all our financial information. Makes no sense to me!

Lauren Tuttle said...

I want to say thanks for following me on the IC Chef blog. Unfortunately, I had to change my url (long story, I actually had to create a new blog and export then import my posts). I just wanted to give you my new URL so you are able to still follow me.

Hope you are doing well!