If you've visited my blog over the past few years, you've noticed that I haven't posted in a long, long time. I have a number of excuses, primarily the kitchen remodel that took up most of my time for five months, and family events. I've been in the middle of my stand-alone (working title is MIND GAMES) and trying to get back into the writing mindset. Not easy, as Matt Weiner said when he pickd up his second of two Emmys this past Sunday for Mad Men, a show I love.
Anyway, I promised my friend Rob that I would get back to the novel, and the blog.
So two weeks ago I spotted a fraudulent charge on one of our credit cards. $2414 and change for a trip to Istanbul. I called the credit card company and the card was cancelled - doubly annoying since this is the card we use for all of our automatic monthly payments. When I asked how the fraudulent charge wasn't caught, the rep handed me over to the Fraud Early Prevention department and a guy who said his name is Von. Von read some notes and told me that someone posing as me had used the card at a travel agency in Cupertino, California. The merchant has called the bank to verify the charge; the woman had spoken to the bank and given my password.
"You are the victim of identity theft," Von said.
That had us seriously worried. At Von's suggestion, we changed the passwords to our accounts.
The next day my replacement card arrived-- a temporary one, with an expiration date a month away. When I called the credit card company to ask about the temporary card, I mentioned how upset my husband and I were that someone had access to our password and had posed as me, etc.
"What do you mean?" the rep said.
I repeated what Von had told me.
"That didn't happen," the rep said. "This transaction was made on the Internet. Your card wasn't swiped. The merchant didn't call until after that credit card was closed."
I was dumbfounded. "Why would Von make this up?"
"Probably to get you off the phone," she said. Her tone was a little snippy.
I was fuming. "You don't find that outrageous? That someone in your Fraud Prevention Department lied?"
I said a few other things, and not so calmly.
The merchant, as it turns out, is going to be stuck with the $2414, because he didn't require the three-digit security code on the back of the card.
And someone, I guess, is going to Istanbul.