On August 24, 2012, I wrote a blog post about some stupid bitch who stole my identity. It was one of my more entertaining posts if I do say so myself.
Three months ago, again. Someone else grabbed a piece of me. Blogged about that, too.
Three times a charm. Almost one year to the day. Wanna see? Go look. The credit card that was sent to replace the one being used online.... yeah. Someone got that card information.
This is how my day went. The breaker in the electric panel tripped. I happened to have been in the room when it happened. It was all the pool equipment. I heard everything shut down simultaneous to: "CLICK" ....the breaker tripped at the same time. Got up, walked to the box and the thing is burning hot. I know it's something with the heat pump. But a hot circuit breaker scared me.
I contacted the guy who repaired the pump last year. Went through the whole sequence of events. They will send someone right away. And they did. The only reason I'm adding that to this little story is because this whole event took time. Bottom line, I need an electrician. Apparently, this problem has nothing to do with the pool equipment. Apparently, there is a water issue and it may be dripping from outside and through the back of the breaker box.
I know one thing. Electricity and water are much like oil and water. They don't mix. Except the former could be deadly. Or the hot breaker could cause a fire. And, one of my smoke detectors isn't working. Yeah. I won't be sleeping tonight.
That commotion was resolved in about two hours... well, not resolved but I learned the guy isn't the right repair guy.... Electrician and someone to figure out how the water is getting into the house both lined up.
Problem in the resolution queue, I pulled up a spot on my favorite sofa, grabbed my BRAND new MacAir, ready to get through the pile of paperwork that is beginning to impede my space. The evening before, I finally replaced my laptop. I was running out of room on the hard drive (apparently it's from a bunch of iPhone and iPad backups but still......) and the thing was hanging up a bit too frequently. It was just another fire waiting to happen. I wanted to begin playing with the new toy. I didn't migrate anything over yet but everything is in a cloud somewhere.... Dropbox, Google Drive and The.Cloud. Also in that cloud? Apparently, my head.
The phone rang. My favorite. A robot! Except it wasn't Diane asking about my need for carpet cleaning or some dire voice advising me this is my final chance to consolidate my debt.......
"This is the Citibank Fraud Early Warning department calling for .... "
followed by the usual struggle to pronounce my name .....
"If you are ..... (insert struggle) .... please press one"
"Please listen to the following transactions. Did you make a purchase at Apple Store on August 22 in the amount of $851.32?"
Now, I'm staring at the phone.
Did I? I was just at the Apple Store. Maybe they process late transactions the following day?
And my mind was trying to keep up. "That's not the amount. You didn't use this card."
I pressed the please repeat button. Really, I wanted to buy myself a moment to organize my thoughts before I got on the phone and made an idiot of myself. Logic stepped in and I pressed whateverthehellnumber was NO, I did NOT make that purchase.
"Please wait for an associate."
Not for nothing, but I think when you press the alarm, i.e. the number indicating you did NOT make a purchase, someone should be on the line within seconds. While I was waiting, I logged into my online banking account to take a look. I saw the pending transaction. WTF????
Someone finally got on the phone. She said, "The card was physically swiped at the Apple Store in Lake Grove."
"Within the past hour."
I said, no, it definitely was NOT me. I wanted to add, "Listen, I've been here putting out fires, you got this one," but I just shut up. She then asked me if the card was in my possession. I told her it was and she asked me for the code on the back of the card. I went to grab the card, thinking perhaps it fell out of my wallet in the Apple Store the night before. It was all too odd. I half expected the card to be gone. Except it wasn't, it was right where I knew it would be.
"OK," she told me, "I'm closing this account right now." Something begins to click. The Apple Store where this card was physically swiped is at a shopping mall that is 30 miles from my home. I could be there in 30 minutes. I began to get a little creeped out. Someone has a credit card with my name on it and they are parading around the mall?
While the representative from Citibank was going through the process, she announces, "Oh... the card was JUST swiped a second ago. Macy's. $350.00" I'm just slightly astonished, "This is happening in real time?"
"Yes, when the card is swiped, we can see it and the card was just swiped at a cash register in the department store."
The charge was stopped. The person was IN THE STORE with the card. Security could have been at the register in a split second. It doesn't work like that. They don't actually care about catching the person. The card was marked "STOLEN" so the next attempt would not just be declined but the merchant would see the word "STOLEN."
And what did I learn? Most merchants will not do anything when they see the stolen message. They just return the card to the person and say it was declined. Upon reflection, I'm sure I'd do the same thing. And I'm also sure, I'd immediately call security to have them stop the person before they exited the store. I wouldn't confront a thief. Too risky. Fair enough.
Suddenly, it dawned upon me.... "The $800.00 charge was approved?" And I learned that indeed it was..... I called the Apple Store after I was finished with Citibank. Yes, the bitch got out of the store with a brand new iPhone 5, unlocked which is to say the only thing this person needs to do is go to any cellular carrier and get a SIM card. Back in the day, iPhones didn't use SIM technology. And she treated herself to a case for the new phone, too.
Someone still wants my life..... I wouldn't trade places with anyone but damn it to hell.... if this bitch is reaping rewards, I want her to share some of the annoying shit, too. Maybe SHE can stand in for the second round of oral surgery that will be taking place in a few short weeks. Maybe SHE can deal with health insurance companies so my friend and I can take a little break from the action and the bullshit that we've dealt with for the past two months. And maybe SHE can pay for the merchandise I purchased at a nearby Apple store less than 24 hours earlier.
I get it. These are simply nuisances when compared to what I would call real problems. It's just that I have much better things to do with my time. I don't like wasting it on bullshit. This, quite frankly, has been one giant heap of it. And it's consumed a whole lot of time.
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