Wednesday, July 1, 2009

There Goes My Identity

Well, it finally happened — I woke up this morning with over a hundred dollars charged to my bank account from a random grocery store in Brooklyn, N.Y. That's just swell!

The amazing thing is I had a voicemail from Bank of America waiting to tell me about all this. They froze my account and everything before I even know it happened, and will reimburse me for the fraudulent charge. Good on them!

I'm thinking this is direct a result of running our Saturday night bar tab at J.J. Foley's on my debit card instead of a credit card (see where responsible money-management gets you?). Not that the bartenders would have done anything with the card, but at the end of the night I left the paid check in the leather billfold thing right on the bar, and the place was SLAM-crowded. We could barely squeeze ourselves to the exit. Who knows who could've yanked the receipt out of there, and sometimes (way too often, really) those credit card slips have all your card info on them, even the expiration date.

Gina's aunt and uncle actually ran into trouble with this years ago, where their bank info was stolen from a debit card receipt at a restaurant, and they lost like over a thousand bucks — of real money too, not credit card charges you can dispute. It turned out the waiters were selling receipts on the side for like $20 a pop. Since then they opened up a "going out" credit card with a maximum credit line of $400, so they can still use a card at restaurants, but if it's stolen the thief won't be able to tap their life's savings. Ingenious, no?

P.S. The guy in the photo is not an identity thief — well, as far as I know anyway! (Ha, poor guy. Sorry, dude, if you find this!) But his name is John Gorey, which means he may already be inadvertently stealing my web traffic, if not my persona.

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