Saturday, June 5, 2010


So this morning, Shanni and I were casually talking about how two of her work colleagues had recently had their debit card numbers stolen.  Her friends were checking their accounts online and found random charges in random places.  Apparently, the thieves hack some store's system, steal the numbers, and create fake cards with magnetic strips coded with your card number.

All this talk of banking reminded me that I should check *my* account to make sure my summer paycheck was deposited.  Being a teacher and all, that big hunk of a paycheck is what gets us through til August.  I login, see that the money was deposited, but also see that earlier this week the bank had to auto-transfer $300+ from savings to checking.  Hmm...  Scrolling down through my account activity, I discover three charges, each for over $250 at three different Walgreens all in one day.  Bastards!  I've been hit!

Now this *should* have been enough for my bank to red flag.  Maybe given me a call or sent an email or even automatically put a block on my account with a notice for me to contact them.  I mean, who spends that much money at Walgreens in a year, let alone one day, and at three separate locations no less.  Then I notice the ultimate.  These Walgreens are in MISSOURI. How can I, with only one debit card linked to my account, simultaneously spend money in Arizona and Missouri? Did you notice, bank, that there were no, I don't know, gas station charges? hotel charges?  rental car fees?  plane tickets?!?

Needless to say, the card has been shut down, the account is on block, and I need to go in on Monday and fill out a bunch of fraud paperwork as well as a police report, since the theft was over $500.  Moral of this story:  these thefts are on the rise, so watch your account c a r e f u l l y.  Clearly, your bank might not be doing a good enough job.

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