A fitting end to the summer (part 1)

This summer kind of flew by with a great sucking *WOOOOOOOSH*, and I don’t know how it happened. I mean, I do—we went on a trip, then Monkey went on a trip, and Otto went on a few trips, and for the first time in forever I had One Giant Job rather than Lots O Little Jobs, and Duncan kept acting like he was dying and had to have surgery, and then there was band camp, and POOF: summer’s over. It was just… weird. It kind of makes me long for those days when summer seemed to drag on and on and I did a little jig when the kids headed back to school, because there’s just no pleasing me.

We never even went camping, this year. There was no time. Every now and then I catch Otto staring longingly out back at the camping trailer. I usually say something understanding and supportive like, “Thinking of hitching up and leaving us?” (Before you ask: No, I don’t know why he puts up with me. It’s a mystery.)

The point is, summer shot past and it seemed like we’d be back to the normal school-year grind without any excitement at all. BUT NO! I was working along, minding my own business, when one day last week I pushed back from my desk to go take a shower. I do that, sometimes. My family appreciates it. Anyway, off I went, and when I returned (clean and fresh-smelling!), I had missed a call and the answering machine was blinking at me. Also, my cell phone said I’d missed a call and had a voicemail. Hrm.

Both messages were from the Discover Card Fraud Alert center.

[Sidebar: Does anyone else think I should develop a “our Discover cards were compromised AGAIN!” graphic especially for these posts? Seems like that may be appropriate. Three years ago I had a weird salad fetish, a year and a half ago Otto was hustled by someone who really likes Lands’ End, and a short eight months ago I apparently wanted a new iPad. I do love that Discover is always on top of this stuff, but… c’mon. This is getting silly.]

Anyway, I called back, and this takes you to an automated system which cheerfully declares they’ve noticed some “unusual activity” on your account, and could you please verify some recent purchases? I pushed the required buttons and confirmed that yes, I had spent $10 at Amazon, sure, I’d spent $100 on groceries, and HEY NOW, actually, no, I didn’t spend $300 at Walmart.

This got me transferred to a human, whereupon I was asked to explain exactly how I had not spent that money at Walmart (???). “Well, for starters, I don’t shop at Walmart,” I offered, somewhat bewildered. The rep filled in some details for me, which made it even easier. “And, um, for another thing, you just told me the order happened right before you called me, while I was in the shower. No, no one else in my house could’ve placed it. No, I would not have ordered a crappy generic television and scheduled it for pick-up at a Walmart three hours from my house.”

I was transferred to the Dispute Department (different from the Fraud Department, evidently), and… they hung up on me. I called back and went through the automated menu again (perhaps yelling at the phone NO I DID NOT MAKE THAT PURCHASE AT WALMART THANKS) and this time was connected to a very kind person who did not ask me to defend my non-purchase. All was taken care of in just a few minutes, except that of course now I am without a Discover Card until my new one arrives, and I have all sorts of automatic billing going to that card, much of which I will not remember until I start getting nastygrams about how the charges failed to go through. FUN!

And here I was worried that we wouldn’t have any excitement this summer. Pfffft.

[Part 2 shall be even MORE riveting, because the only thing more interesting than listening to me whine about how often my credit card is stolen is hearing all about what snacks I bought at Costco. Right?? (Don’t answer that.)]


  1. LizD

    Mmmmm… snacks! Does that count as something shiny over there? Both make me drool.

  2. Sherri

    Ugh… I feel your pain. We’ve had some interesting potential credit card fraud too but I won’t go into here (I’ll update on PM). Anyways, funny you should mention snacks at the end because I was thinking of you this morning as I ponder snacks for the school year, especially for N since he will have football practice at 7am for the next couple of months. I need good protein snacks to jam into his backpack every day. And you know how it feels to find good protein snacks that are not loaded with sugar but fuel a skinny kid who eats a lot, yet is picky.

    • Mir

      Sherri, you KNOW I love to talk snacks. I’m doing the same thing for my kids before marching band practice. For packaged protein bars, I like Quest, Balance, Pure, and even Clif Builder bars (the latter have a fair amount of sugar but my kids are so skinny I’ve given up on caring about that). The non-vegetarian likes beef jerky. The vegetarian likes almonds. And both kids will eat anything I bake, so I make/freeze lots of goodies like these breakfast cookies and use those, too.

  3. Diane

    The only thing I like more than talking about snacks is eating them.

    A couple of years ago, I had my debit card number hacked twice, six months apart, and my credit card hacked six months after that. I feel your pain. My bank (same back for both) absolutely rocks on fraud detection and resolution, though. I did sort of figure out where it happened – one particular web site that offers lovely things, but apparently doesn’t believe in credit card security.

    • JennyA

      Ooooh, Diane, which website? I just got hacked for the second time in two months –it’s like I barely get the card activated, log on to pay bills, and BOOM, compromised. This time, to the tune of over $2,000, and I am HOPPING mad. I have some theories, but am still trying to pin down the security hole.

      • Diane

        I hate to have to say this, but the first two times (debit card) it was immediately after I used it at One King’s Lane, whose site I love. I think the credit card one was something else, as the charge they (tried) to place was a large one at a hotel in Germany.

  4. Ani

    Just closed, don’t send-me-a-new-card, just CLOSE the account that has been hacked thrice in the past six months. What’s the point of a credit card I can’t use because I’m always waiting for a new one to get delivered? Grrrrr….

    Related, why do I keep getting hacked by people who want to buy loads of cr*ppy online video games?

  5. Karen

    I DOOOOO love Discover really just for this reason. Had mine 22 years,

  6. Jamie

    Citi called me at 8 a.m. yesterday to alert me to someone trying ot make 3 different $1100+ purchases for childrens wear at a boutique clothing store called “Tea Collection.” No, I don’t like tea that much was my first response to the agent, until she told me it was a children’s clothing store. This is my second card in 3 weeks to have fraud. Damn criminals – get a real job! Such a hassle as this is my card I use for everything, so lots of auto payments to move, etc. Pain in the tush…

  7. Karen R

    My card has been hacked so often I have a text file of all of the auto-pay accounts so I can just go down the list and change them. After the last one (grocery store was hacked a few weeks ago), I put my husband’s card number (same account, different numbers) down for most of the auto-pays because he rarely uses his card, and it isn’t hacked as often.

  8. Oana

    This is why I have all our auto-billed purchases (utility bills, etc.) on a separate credit card from the one we use for everyday shopping and online purchases. I absolutely HATE having to call 13 different utility companies to change the credit card information, every time it is compromised. So far this system has worked, fingers crossed.

    • amanda

      I was just about to post that. Yes, that is truly the best policy, especially if you’ve had multiple fraud incidents. Capital One Quicksliver has 1.5% cash back. It might be a good option for that kind of thing.

  9. Sherri

    I’m going to try your breakfast cookies. Beef jersey is a great idea! And like you, I am beginning a baking frenzy of muffins to freeze so the kids can all grab them and go. They all love my banana chocolate chip version. I plan on baking some blueberry muffins this week. Need to look into those protein bars. N is interested in trying some protein drinks – give him the powder then he can mix it with water at school.

  10. bonuela

    one time i did NOT buy several hundred dollars worth of fried chicken at two different popeye’s. why would i? they were at least 500 miles away, the biscuits would have been cold by the time i got home.

  11. Becky

    Plot twist! I supposedly tried to buy a computer for over $2000 while I was out getting a sandwich today. I feel like I get to join the proper grownup club now that I’m in the process of experiencing the joins of credit card fraud.

  12. Aimee

    I have had my debit card replaced twice, and my credit card once, in the past six months or so. Nobody has actually tried to use them — Bank of America is just very, very cautious with things like this. I appreciate that, but it is in fact a royal pain in the butt to have to go change all the auto-bills. Sorry this happened to you again — and hey, I look forward to the snack tales!

  13. Em

    Meanwhile, I get email for banks I never heard of telling me my account that doesn’t exist has been compromised. Tricky bastards.

    Now if they have information like that the person will be picking up their generic TV at Walmart, why wouldn’t there be police waiting for them?

  14. Meri

    Not a kid, but I’ve been relying on Kind bars for snacks when my blood sugar crashes. They’re way cheaper on Amazon than at the store, too, and you can get them via Subscribe and Save.

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