For the second time in five years I've fallen victim to the scourge of identity theft. This morning while balancing my bank account I found an odd charge. It was to a well-known chain store, which I frequent. Except, since I live in California I don't shop in Georgia.
Humm... "Honey, have you made any online purchases from this store? NO?!" Double Humm...
So, off I trotted to my bank, printouts in hand. Turns out the great state of Georgia is a current hotbed of identity theft fraud.
Seems there is an insidious e-scam out there. I got this from a friend who works electronic crime for LAPD. A lowlife, creep, dirtbag wearing a nice suit goes to an independent small business, say a gas station or market. Said dirtbag offers a wonderful credit card reader to the business at a much better rate than the current market price. The small business allows the nice-suited dirtbag to install his wonderful card reader and viola! business as usual. Except, every time the card reader gets serviced, all the electronic info is printed out to the dirtbag and his dirtbag partners in crime. They now possess all the card numbers, PIN numbers and even those mysterious little numbers on the back of our cards, too.
The upshot is, I will probably get the $250.00 returned to my account. BUT, and a big BUTT it is, the bank took my card and I don't get it back until the issue is resolved--for up to three months.
Holy Mackerel, think about it... I have to carry cash. I have to remember to write checks to cash while I'm at the bank. No more pulling up to the gas station for a fill-up with just a card. This is going to be a major readjustment in thinking and planning. It's like... the seventies all over again.