Dec 27, 2008

Perhaps you are asking, "Hey, Merle Wayne Sneed, how did that Visa Debit Card business work out for you?" Glad you asked. So far it sucks to be me, vis-à-vis the Visa, anyway. I went to my credit union yesterday and signed an affidavit, swearing I was not at the Food Lion #786, 10 Village Center Rd., Reisterstown, MD., on 12/24/2008 and did not spend $423.80 of my hard-earned cash there. Then, I had to make a report to the local police, documenting the incident. Perhaps you are wondering why I had to make a police report, since it is impossible that any one at the Hooterville Police Department actually gives a crap about some criminals in Maryland and my Visa Debit Card. Well, they make people report these things to keep the victims honest. The thinking goes that if I have to report a theft to the coppers, I'm less likely to make stuff up. The reality is, that except for the really big fish in the identity theft business, no one tries to catch the thieves. For Visa it is a cost of doing business. Anyway, all the paperwork is done and in ten short days, more or less, I will get the missing money back. It is an inconvenience, not a huge deal to me, but for many people this sort of thing could really mess up their finances. I asked if I could restrict my card to PIN number transactions only, but Visa won't go for it. Evidently the money they lose to fraud, is more than made up for by the additional business that is generated by letting anyone, anywhere use anyone's card number. Ain't Visa great? Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Reya Mellicker said...

My wallet was stolen once upon a time. You would not believe what I had to go through in order to make right what was never my fault.


Barbara said...

Doesn't it almost make you feel just a little guilty when you have to sign all that garbage swearing you didn't do it? We've had several instances of people in foreign countries using our Visa number as much as a year after we were there. I figure they just squirrel away those numbers and pull them out when they think you're long gone. I don't think we've ever had to sign anything though.

Squirrel said...

who is squirreling away numbers? Pine cones and black walnuts, acorns, yes, but numbers???

Megan said...

Nope, Visa not great.

Wow, I didn't have to file a police report. I wonder if that is a new development, or if Washington Mutual just feels they are above all that?

I will never forget how incredibly casual everyone at the bank was about the incident...all in a day's work.

Coffee Messiah said...

Last year, after a stay in a hotel in Chicago, I started seeing charges in the UK......I called the bank and only had to fill out a form as you stated, nothing else.

What's going on down there to have to go to the police station? They didn't take your photo or fingerprint ya, did they?????

Cute grandchild too and a very proud looking grandpa ; )

Julia said...

OK, I have a plan. You give me your credit card number. I'll buy all the expensive things I want, and you file a claim. Nobody comes looking for me and I go on with my life. I send you a nice present for your troubles.

Brenda said...

My company trains on identity theft prevention. Once you have been "hit" you should not stop at filling out an FTC notarized affadevit and filling out a police report, but you should place a freeze on your credit files with all the 3 credit bureaus. I would do so far to also inform DMV, your utilities and other place where you have provided your private information for ongoing services. They may or may not want to add this info to your accounts but if you documents who you called and who you reported the incident to, if any other problems surface in the future, you have your documentation to show you did your best to report the fraud.

I say these steps are important because your stolen card could also include other stolen info that may in the future be used. Other accounts may have been opened in your name which you will not find out about until much later even if you cancelled your bank cards. Collection agencies are relentless in trying to force people to pay accounts they didn't open so taking these steps will prevent them from trying to collect debts you didn't create.

The law in most states say they cannot collect debts consumers didn't create and they cannot sell the account to other collection agencies. Might be wise to check your state ID Theft laws.

If you make these reports now and freeze your credit files, you have now created a paper trail. If something happens later and you never took the necessary steps to report the fraudulent use of your cards or your private information, you will be hard pressed to convince companies and agencies you had this prior problem and are not responsible for the charges.

Filing reports and calling creditors is a time sucker but it may spare you future aggrevation and loss of money.

tut-tut said...

I've recently discovered an almost forgotten concept: carrying cash! I always worry about what you just experienced, as it's so easy for someone to use a cell phone to capture all this information with one quick photo click.

Avid Reader said...

we've been big cash people in our day to day drab lives, only pulling out the amex for special occasions. but special occasions are rare.