Last Monday my phone lit up with a call from an 888 number. I thought it might be a telemarketer or some other type of solicitor, so I didn’t answer the phone.
Whoever called did leave a message.
I listened to the message.
The person who left the message said she was from my bank’s [static] department and to call a number at [static].
I listened to the message again to see if I could understand more of it.
Then I decided to check my bank account online.
Fancy. There were two $100 charges from gas stations somewhere in Texas in the past five days. Thank goodness it wasn’t more, but still: $200 is a lot of money.
The last time I was in Texas was February 2008 for the Austin half marathon. If my information was stolen then, would the perps have waited six years to use it? Besides, I’ve changed my debit card at least once since then.
From the partial voicemail message and looking at my bank account, the puzzle pieces finally fit together to form a very annoying, cussworthy story. But since I still couldn’t discern the static for the number on my voicemail for the bank’s fraud prevention department, I called the general customer service number instead.
I explained my situation to a nice person. He went to get someone from fraud.
The person from fraud was also very nice. I told him about the suspicious debits. He told me that he’d file a claim and send me another debit card overnight.
He also told me that it would take up to 90 days to reverse the charges. At the time that sounded like a horribly long time to wait, but both debits were readjusted just two days after this phone call. And since I couldn’t see my online account until I activated the new card, I had no idea that my account had been reimbursed. (I could have called and found out, but I decided to wait.)
While the nice fraud department guy was processing the claim, he saw that the bank had already sent me a replacement card by regular mail. He said my card was one of the compromised ones from the holiday season. He asked if I shopped at any of the places featured on the news for having customer debit card information stolen.
I said that during Christmastime, I had definitely shopped at the place whose company logo looks like a bull’s eye. A red circle surrounding a large red dot.
Hackers. They got me.
My new debit card arrived in the mail a week later. I activated it and regained online access to my account. While I don’t use my debit card a lot, it’s nice to have the account and my information (somewhat?) secure. It just bothers me that people out there have no qualms about stealing other people’s private information and spending their money. It bothers me hard.
Thankfully everything ended well for me. I hope all the other hacking victims were just as fortunate.