Monday, September 16, 2013

Archive Stuff - Anatomical Nomenclature of a 4-Horned Goat, plus That Time I had my Identity Stolen

I've seen some variations of this idea on a few Tumblr sites and liked it enough to repost ...

Anyway, now that I got that out of my system, this is something that actually happened to me a couple of months back. After the conversation with a well-meaning but somewhat slow on the uptake customer service rep from my bank, I made some notes and here's the result.

The Identity Thief Who wasn't Very Good at his Job

So, somebody got a hold of my Visa card this past June and ran amok with it.

Well, they tried to, anyway. The problem is I think I might have had about 17 dollars in the account, and so what could have been a magnificent crime-spree for this young go-getter turned into a somewhat sad, tawdry affair.

I got the e-mail from my bank and started going through what some folks have described as an absolute nightmare. For me though, it amounted to a 15 minute phone call, followed by several hours of metacognitive contemplation on my part about the man who led some alternate version of my life for about 72 hours.

Here’s some of how it went down, as depicted in the conversation I had with the nice lady who helped me sort the whole thing out.
Operator: (redacted) Bank, How may I help you?

Me: I think somebody hacked my account.

(A bunch of personal questions followed this initial exchange that I won’t get into, as they were totally fucking boring. The 1st operator puts me through to the Fraud Department, where I get asked variations of the same set of questions, which I answer while wishing I had thought to call from a landline, so I could play Angry Birds or something while I do this. Finally we come to this …)

Operator: Okay Mr Millar, it looks as if your account has indeed been compromised. We’re going to have to go down the list of recent transactions to figure out where to apply your Fraud Protection.

Me: Umm, okay.

Operator: Now it looks like you spent $11.37 at a Quik Trip in Tempe AZ at 9:34am on Thursday, is that correct?

Me: That sounds about right.

Operator: Followed by another charge for $6.77 at a Walgreen’s in … that’s also Tempe Arizona, this one was at 1:55pm on Thursday as well.

Me: I’m pretty sure that’s correct also.

Operator: It looks like the next charge was for $232.47, this one was for Safe-T Transmissions in Park City, Utah at 2:43pm. Is that correct?

Me: I’m sorry?

Operator: (Repeats the charge and then adds) Shall I apply this charge sir?

Me: Are you asking me if I somehow traveled 600 miles and got somebody to change out my transmission in less than an hour?

Operator (Totally unfazed): Shall I apply the charge, sir.

Me: No, that wasn’t me.

Operator: Okay then. I also have a charge for $32.33 for, the gold membership.

Me: What’s that?

Operator: I don’t know sir, it’s a website.

Me: I didn’t do that either.

Operator: Okay, it looks like there’s another one for, this one was for -

Me: Nope

Operator: Okay, and another charge for NoStringsAttache-

Me: Nooope.

Operator: That’s fine sir. There’s a charge on Friday for 47 dollars for the Starlite Motel in Washington Terrace.

Me: Awesome.

Operator: I’m sorry, sir?

Me: It sounds like he met somebody, maybe on one of those websites.

Operator: Oh …

Me: Yeah.

(Long pause)

Operator: Shall I apply the charge-

Me: No.

Operator: Okay, it looks like there were a couple more online purchases made (She goes on to name three more dating sites and 2 porn sites. Who pays for porn?)

Me: Okay maybe we can just speed this up by bumping off all of the online purchases.

Operator: Okay, it looks like 2 weeks ago you made a purchase at -

Me: All the online purchases from this weekend, then.

Operator: Okay. Also it looks like a donation was made for 5 dollars to the United Way just outside Ogden Utah on Saturday morning.

Me: Nope, I didn’t do that one, either.

Operator: Shall I apply the charge, sir?

Me: Nah, fuck those guys.

(Long pause)

Me: Hello?

Operator: Just dropping the charge, sir.

There was about 5 minutes more that I won’t get into, because they were boring. I cancelled the account and hung up. This sort of thing can probably be a real pain in the ass for some people and I guess I got off easy.
It kills me that the dude who stole my card donated some of the stolen money to a charity fund. I wonder if that’s just how identity thieves roll in Utah, though.

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