Thursday, September 25, 2008


I was out of the house all morning for a couple of reasons - 1. Sarah's Ortho appointment, and 2. We had no water, so I went to my mother's house. When I finally returned home this afternoon around four o'clock, I set about doing everything that I normally do in the morning, like checking my email and reading blogs. And since I hadn't been home all day, I also checked my voicemail.

One of the messages was from one of my banks (yes, I keep money in multiple banks). It said that they needed me to call them regarding an urgent matter. I didn't have a clue what it could be about since I am the only person on that account and I haven't used it in a couple of weeks. So, I pulled up my account on the bank's website as I'm calling them back, and what do I see? Negative $700+!

How the hell did that happen?! So, I scroll down the page and find four POS charges on my account that I did not make. How could I have made them when the charges were made in Miami, Key Largo, and Tavernier? I've never even heard of that last one, and I haven't been anywhere near the other two in nearly two years (and I certainly didn't stop and make any purchases when I was driving through there). On top of those fraudulent charges were the insufficient funds charges for each of the four fraudulent charges. All of which left me more than $700 in the hole.

Funny thing is, the bank wasn't calling me to ask me about the fraudulent charges. No, they were calling me about my account being overdrawn. It's nice to know that those four HUGE charges, in three different towns that are at least four hours away from here, made all in one day, didn't set off alarms for their fraud department. Their overdraft department is sure on the ball, though!

So, I had to drive all the way to my bank to file a fraud report so that, hopefully, in ten business days, my account will be back to the $.72 that was there before all of this craziness. That's another thing, too. I only had $.72 in my account. Like I said, I rarely use this account. How did the bank authorize all of those charges, totalling nearly $600, the smallest of which was $50, when I only had $.72 in my account? It's like these banks are TRYING to make you go negative so that they can charge their NSF fees.

I am grateful, though, that this happened to my account that didn't have much money in it and that I wasn't planning to use any time soon. I don't know what I would do if I had to wait two weeks for money that I needed (like for bills or groceries) to finally reappear in my account. I was really lucky in this regard. Thank you, Jesus, for looking out for me and my family.


Debbie said...

That is just crazy. Most times when you even use your debit card as credit or whatever, it is run through a system to see if there is sufficient funds...How that went through, who knows...There should be a way they can track down (at least) how these payments were made....But yes, thankfully it happened to an account that really has no activity!!

Lindsey said...

Very bad call on the bank! I can't even get my bank to authorize my card ever...I always have to call them and convince them it's me!

Michelle said...

This has happened to me before. I am sure it's scammers that somehow got your numbers by using some kind swiping device at an ATM or Gas Pump (like we've been hearing in the news lately). Someone used my info to buy gas at a station in the Everglades! It wasn't for nearly as much money as yours, but I had the funds reimbursed with no questions asked. A good idea would be, though, to gather any receipts to prove that you were not in those cities on those days. I hope they straighten this out for you. That is terrible. Especially in these fragile economic times!

Andrea said...

Oh Mel! I can't believe that! Wow, you need to complain to your bank BIG time. That's ridiculous that they didn't put 2 and 2 together...hello? What do they think? That you've gone on a "thelma & louise" adventure and are just blowing through town after town withdrawing money you don't have??? I really don't like the whole "overdraft protection" policy either. It is one thing if a check from their instituion (to a company not one for "cash") were to come across and they covered that but POS or ATM. If there is no money, there is no money. I hope all works out, Mel. You go get 'em!

Trish said...

I like this post. It is a "glass is half full" post. Yes, you were victimized. But you have taken the steps to minimize the damage. And you recognize how much worse it could have been. It is good to see the positive in the situation. At least the fraudster picked the account that ultimately does not affect you. That's some pretty good luck, I'd say! (Of course, it still sucks that they got you at all. And your bank not catching it is totally unacceptable ... you may want to have words with them about it.)

Foun you through SITS. :)