Sunday, November 27, 2011

We've been had!

You always hear all kinds of things about identity theft, etc, etc ....but when it hits so close to home, it's scary!  Total invasion of privacy!

Rewind to when Tim and I got married.  We opened a bank account and put the money we got as wedding gifts in that account, so that we'd save it for something we really wanted instead of just putting it towards bills and things that we needed for the house.  With that account, we got a Visa that would typically have an annual fee, but if you kept a certain amount in the account, the fee was waived.  Ok, great.

I used the Visa for a while, racked up some travel points, redeemed them - used it as it should be used.  We went on our honeymoon and used most of the money from the account, so we decided to close the account.  We also talked about cancelling the Visa since we both have other credit cards and didn't really to pay the $170 a year to keep yet another card that we probably wouldn't use so much.  Let me re-iterate ...we talked about it.  Tim needed to be the one to call and cancel because he was listed as the primary cardholder.  I reminded him, he didn't do it.

Fast forward to last Sunday, November 20th.  I was fed up with all the mail piling up on the counter.  The numerous people who come to check on Gus can attest to the fact that there is ALWAYS a pile sitting there!  So, I grab the pile and go to the couch where I proceed to open everything up.  I get to the Visa statement ...hmm, ok, fine .... I knew he hadn't cancelled the card yet, so it makes sense that we'd still be getting statements.  However, you assume that when you have not used the card in months, you should open the statement and see a balance of zero.

Not so!!!

I opened the statement and see an interest charge of $115.  Ummm, what?  How can there be that much interest when the balance is $0.  Look again and see that the balance is over $4600.  Now I start to panic a a little.  I run upstairs to the computer, check the statement online and sure enough, on September 23, someone purchased over $4600 worth of goods at Holt Renfrew on Bloor St. in Toronto.

I've never seen Tim move so fast.  He called Visa immediately and went through the whole thing.  Apparently the person also tried to put another $1800 on the card and it was declined, twice.  Would that not be a red flag to the Holt's employee?!?!?!  Or Visa, for that matter?!

So, now we basically just wait.  It all goes to the police and they investigate and do whatever it is they do.

We're not responsible for any of the charges, they told us.  However, had we left that pile of mail on the counter for another 3 days, it would've been out of Visa's hands and up to us to pay, because you only have 60 days to report discrepancies.

Lesson learned: open your mail!!!!!!

PS:  If I could afford to shop at Holt Renfrew, I would.

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