September 15, 2008

Saturday Morning Credit Fraud

A funny thing happened on my way to an otherwise perfect weekend. Saturday morning I wake up to my cell phone ringing. The call is from some Delaware number I don't recognize, so I don't answer. Ever since I first got my cell phone I've been a screener. Basically, I figure that unless I recognize the number, the person can either call back enough times that I finally answer, or leave a message so I know who they are. This time, no message. I think nothing of it and set about cooking breakfast with the wife. We make some very delicious turkey breakfast stacks (recipe below) and our usual yogurt parfait of vanilla Light'n'Fit, blueberries, and granolla. As we finish the meal, Delaware calls again. I decide to screen a second time. No message.

I finally get to checking my email for the first time that morning and discover who has been calling: Bank of America's Fraud Protection service. Apparently there is some irregular credit card activity with my account. Thirteen separate transactions by PayPal - none of which I conducted. I go through a series of verifications online with BofA and soon my troubles are over. The account has been closed, new cards have been issued, and an afidavit is on its way to me for my signature. Although the charges have not even posted yet, BofA assures me that once they do, I will immediately be reimbursed. Unfortunately they offer no hints as to how it is my credit card information has been stolen or who might have done so. They recommend I call Pay Pay (which I plan to do this afternoon).

All in all, the thing I was most surprised by was how calm the wife and I remained during the process. You would think that such a credit scare would be cause for great concern and worry. But honestly, with BofA catching things so quickly and rectifying the situation, things were fixed before we ever knew there was a problem! Kudos to Bank of America for protecting our monies. Or rather... our ability to buy things using digital monies instead of real ones. Also, congrats on the whole Merrill Lynch thing.

And now, a delicious recipe:

Breakfast Turkey Stack
1 pound ground turkey breast
4 teaspoons sugar-free pancake syrup
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large beefsteak tomato, cut into 4 thick slices
4 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Combine turkey, syrup, sage, cayenne, salt, pepper, and ginger in a mixing bowl and mix well. Divide into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook patties until well browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Lay tomato slices in a single layer in a baking dish; season with salt and pepper. Top each slice with 1 turkey patty and 1 cheese slice; broil in the oven until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Serve hot. (Note: Patties can be individually wrapped and frozer for up to 1 month; just defrost and simply reheat in the oven or microwave!)

To answer your question: No, I don't have a job yet. And yes, I am spending lots of time cooking.


Anonymous said...

I had something of a similar "scare" several years ago. Chase gave me a call and asked if I was responsible for the suspicious activity which had resulted in charges far and beyond my credit limit. I said, "no." They took care of it from there. As you said, they solved the problem before I even knew it existed, so no panic necessary.

My problem popped up many years ago when it was still common for full credit card info to be printed on receipts; I reckon I must have let one (or many) of them slip away from me.

Otherwise, "sugar free pancake syrup"? W. T. F?

Other-otherwise, I'll be at the UVA career fair on Wednesday. Sadly, I don't think we're giving away TVs this year.

Jared and Beth said...

Perhaps I should have mentioned - this is a South Beach Diet recipe. I promise it's delicious. For those of you who don't care what sugar does to your bodies - feel free to use the real stuff. Same thing goes for the cheese. And mock if you will - but I lost about 30 pounds in the months leading up to my wedding and have kept it off easily.

I'll be at the career fair myself. The Mrs. is going to be working the table for her company on Wednesday. I was planning on stopping by to see you - but now that I know no TVs are involved, I'm not so sure.