***This post has not been sponsored in any way, shape or form by Bank of America or its employees or advertisers.***
I've heard the tales from so many friends, even my own brother. Someone stole their information and their account was overdrawn by hundreds or even thousands of dollars in transactions generated by the thief. They waited days or even weeks for the bank to investigate, verify and reverse the charges. It was a horrible, long, drawn out process. It will never happen to me.
Yes, and no.
I was down to about a quarter of a tank this morning and so stopped to get gas on the way to work. My commute is 90 miles round trip, give or take, and I don't much relish the thought of getting stuck on Highway 14 while the farm trucks and the 18-wheelers speed by.
I flipped the switch on my tank, got out and unscrewed the cap. I stuck my debit card in the slot and prepared to enter my PIN. "Card not authorized." Huh. Tried again. "Card not authorized. See cashier." Now, it was entirely possible that I had inadvertently overdrawn my account. It happens from time to time, one of the many drawbacks of ADHD being that sometimes I fail to remember that I bought or did something the day before and that I don't have enough money to do or buy something today as a result. No worries, I thought, I'll check the account balance when I get to work and transfer funds if I have to.
After back to back morning meetings until almost lunchtime, I finally got the chance to log in to my account. Account was safely in the green, and nothing to indicate a problem. Hmmm. Maybe the card is just getting worn out. It IS due to be replaced this year. No biggie.
But it kept bothering me all day. Finally, I called the customer service number and selected the option to review my transactions. The first three were easily recognizable as mine. But the next:
"A debit card withdrawal in the amount of $236.97 to [something unprounceable]."
"A miscellaneous reversal in the amount of $236.97."
The next word out of my mouth started with the letter F, which the automated system didn't recognize as being a valid option. I tried a different word: "Representative."
As it turns out, someone attempted to use my debit card yesterday to book a hotel room in Finland.
Bank of America? Caught it immediately, reversed the charge and put a stop on my card. That's how good they are. One charge, caught and reversed. One charge.
Bank of America, it was a little inconvenient today to have to dig the ones out of my wallet to buy enough gas to get to work. However, it would have been a hell of a lot MORE inconvenient if the thieving assholes who stole my account information had charged enough money to put me in a hole I can't afford to be in and tied up my account for lord only knows how long.
Bank of America, if I didn't have a boyfriend, I would KISS YOU. Hard. On the lips. As it is, would you settle for a really tight hug? Your account protection team is top-notch and I can't thank you enough for protecting my piddly little bank balance. I'm grateful beyond words right now.
(Now un-lay-off my friend Leslie and we'll be besties forever.)
I get my new debit card in 7-10 days. Somehow I think I'll be using cash only for a while - even after the new card comes.