December 15th, 2007

Self-Portrait 3

As to why I was on hold with Frederick's of Hollywood customer service...

... as they say in Preacher, sir; thereby hangs a tale.

When I got home from work on Wednesday, there was a message on my phone from a customer service rep at Fredrick's of Hollywood, informing me that they had a question about my two orders. Given that I've never ordered (and likely never will order) anything from FOH, I was slightly concerned. I called them back, and managed to quite painlessly (with the exception of about 45 minutes of total hold time) verify that I hadn't placed any orders with them. A quick call to the bank's automated inquiry line confirmed my worst fears. The balance on my account was at -$600 and dropping like a stone.

I had become the victim of identity theft.

**As a quick aside, there's got to be a way to verb identity theft better than just stating "I was the victim of identity theft". "I got identity thefted" doesn't really work. Well, it kind of works, but it's sort of... wonky. It's got a nice flow to it, as I like my dialogue to have a bit of a cadence, but it just doesn't, I dunno, gel.**

It was actually a far easier problem to sort out than I thought it would be. Unfortunately, this type of thing apparently happens so often that there's a well-oiled machine in place to deal with it. I called the bank first thing Thursday morning and filled them in on the problem, and they cancelled my debit card right away. I found out yesterday when I took the afternoon off and actually visited the bank that this stopped most of the pending charges from being processed; they provided me with a printout of my account activity for this month and the only fraudulent stuff was the FOH orders. From there, it was simply a matter of filing a dispute and getting a new debit card issued. The pretty lady at the bank who helped me straighten things out (who's name, I shit you not, was Ginger) assured me that my money would be back in my account by Tuesday at the latest. Having a Visa debit card gives you the same purchase protection as having a Visa credit card, which I did not know, but which really helps a lot.

Holy crap, I got it! Remember that you heard it here first when it catches on, because believe you me it will. New verb for becoming a victim of identity theft? Getting i-jacked.

Damn, I'm good.
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