For full disclosure, I wasn’t actually in Jersey when this happened, but my debit card was. I got a phone call from Key Bank, I was on the subway so I missed it and they left me voice mail. I checked it when I got out and some pleasant sounding lady had called to say that the bank had detected activity outside of my local area. I hadn’t left my “local area” in a while so I called back immediately. After the usual twenty plus minutes of pain-in-the-ass-transfers and after assuring them countless times that I was, in fact, who I was claiming to be (Michael Jordan, of course) they finally transferred me to the fraudulent activity services — where I had to relay my information once again as the once great basketball player of the Chicago Bulls.
After all of this, they finally informed me that someone had used my card to attempt a purchase at a Wal-Mart in New Jersey for $250.00. I asked them nicely to cancel the transaction. Everyone knows I wouldn’t be caught dead in either of those places, Wal-Mart or Jersey, let alone the two at the same time.
The part about Michael may or may not be true, but the crux of the proverbial biscuit is that some jerk-off stole my card number from somewhere! What troubles me most is that I had the actual card with me. Somehow they recorded my number AND the security code in order to go on — what I imagine to be — some online shopping bender for Bounty Paper Towel Rolls, Fancy Feast Cat Food, Seiko Watches and Miley Cyrus branded sweatshirts.
The bank refused to tell me what was purchased or how the card was used.
To make matters interesting, the very next day I see the cover of the very prestigious local newspaper AM News. It declares loudly over some Photoshop graphic resembling what I can do in Microsoft paint that Identity theft is on the rise in New York state. The article went on to mention that we are at the sixth spot in top list of states for identity theft. Behind the likes of Florida and Arizona because everyone knows geriatrics and immigrants are the top targets and most sought after identities. Wheels chairs are really in this year.
I did a little research — by that I mean I skimmed a few headlines in the New York Times. I found an article about inexpensive ways to protect yourself against this kind of fraud. I didn’t read the article (here) but I did notice one graph. Alina Tugend, the author who I Googled and wanted to be hot** but wasn’t, wrote about how the criminals who stole her identity at least had some class and went to Nordstrom’s. Not coincidentally also in Jersey.
“This recently happened to us. We were notified of suspicious activity on the card, confirmed we hadn’t recently charged anything in Nordstrom’s in New Jersey (somewhat classy criminals)…”
I think the moral of the story here is simple: New Jersey is a hot bed of identity thieves preying on the innocent New Yorker who just wants to get drunk in Hoboken on Irish Themed Holidays. Realistically, these criminals are probably the worst kind. Imagine how sinister a person must be to walk in to Wal-Mart! One does not simply walk into Wal-Mart.
*I stole this tittle from the book Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. I didn’t read the book but I was mad that the movie version due out soon is called Being Flynn. What a stupid name. The movie will suck. 100%
**I should have known I wouldn’t have found her hot. Her last name is not Lee or Shu or some other illegible amalgamation of vowels and constants common in far eastern nations.