Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Like many people, we have a debit card that has the MasterCard logo on it, so it can be used as credit too. We don't carry cash often, paying everything with this card and we've had it for well over 3 years.
We decided to go grocery shopping, and stopped at a gas station and the dollar store. We went home, and worked on my car for a couple of hours and got a phone call from our bank's fraud protection people asking us if we were in Florida. Of course we're not! They had said OK, we're going to have to block your card and cancel it, your card has been compromised.
We tried to get online to our bank's website, but it was down, but back up an hour later and sure enough, there were two transactions of $300 at a Target store in Florida, almost near Orlando, and we live in Georgia, a skip away from the Tennessee line.
So we called the Target store down there, and they were VERY nice. There wasn't anyone in because we had called late, but they would pass the information onto the higher ups and figure it all out and call us back. I was skeptical. I mean, a big store like that, calling us back? What are the odds? Not very high.
In the meantime, it was the weekend, so the boys were still awake when we decided to call the police and file a report. Little did I know that they would send an actual officer to our house! Our printer isn't hooked up, so we couldn't print off J's bank statement, but we showed the officer where the charges were online and he took our report, had J fill out some stuff and told us about the time his card was hacked for $1K, ONE GRAND, over in Africa.
If an officer isn't safe, NO ONE is! He filed the report and is going to send it to Atlanta to a detective and maybe they can find the thugs. I doubt it though.
On Sunday, Target called us and had some promising news. They ran the transactions and found out that they hit 2 other people's cards the same time they hit ours. Also, they have the people on camera. Yay! It's obviously something they are good at because the lady at Target said that they were in and out in a matter of about 5 minutes. 2 African American males and 1 Hispanic male all came in together and targeted a new, young cashier. She said they never go for the seasoned cashiers. So they are hoping they can cancel the gift cards out, so they will not be able to use them, and they are turning everything over to the police down there.
So we called the bank on Monday morning, and they were so swamped with calls that they took our number and would call us back. They called back and said that a lot of people had been hit, at our bank and other banks across the state and country. So we went in, did all the paperwork and they are putting our money back in. By the time we walked out of the bank, there were about 8 people that got frauded as well. One guy didn't even realize it until he was at the teller's desk. A TON of not so happy people at the bank today. The lady at the bank kind of scoffed at the idea that we have a case open with the police department. But if they can find the guys that did this, and even if they can't, I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can do to help, and that includes filing a report. They took our money, that's a crime and if they find them, they should have to pay. I know a lot of people won't file a police report, but I wished they would.
If they do find them, I want to press charges to the full extent of the law, and by what the police report says, this is a felony. Hopefully, we hear back on something sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, this has made us more aware, and not take for granted that things are always secure. We need to take measures to make sure we are safe. Physically and financially.