>Skimming Scum!

>This morning, all seemed right with the world. I was tickin’ along like usual. Who knew I would pick up the phone, and a voice that sounded like RealSpeak Tom would flip my world on its head for a while. Thankfully, things turned out pretty well.

When I picked up the phone, a voice said it was from TD loss prevention, and they needed to speak with me. It did identify me by name. It told me to press 1. There was no way in hell I was going to press 1. After writing this post, I could not possibly press 1. At least at the end, the robot said if I wasn’t comfortable with this call, feel free to call Easy Line. So, while RealSpeak loss prevention thing yammered in one ear, I called the real easy line with my cell phone. And yes, in fact, Loss Prevention wanted to talk to me.

As I was transferred over, all I could think was “Loss prevention…but…I didn’t shoplift anything. And if I did, why would the bank know about it or care?” I was very confused. Eventually, they told me that my debit card had been skimmed, and someone had the big number and my pin and tried to take out 200 dollars in Las Vegas. But I guess something about it raised flags and they didn’t get a cent.

The poor lady. Her job must suck. I really try not to swear when talking to professional folks, but this woman got an onslaught of “Holy shit! Son of a bitch!” and I’m sure that’s on the mild side of things she hears. It was kind of funny. I would say “Son of a bitch! Um..er…I’m sorry.” I was in such shock.

It’s a really weird feeling when you can pull out your bank card and hold it in your hand, but someone has stolen it from you. I don’t know how to explain how freaky that is. But on the positive side, they didn’t take any money. Someone or something didn’t think that transaction looked right at all, so blocked it. I have a new bank card and a new number to memorize, and that’s it. I didn’t lose anything.

What’s doubly weird is I haven’t been anywhere unusual. This means that a place I regularly frequent has been sabotaged, or has someone less than honest working there. I think that’s even freakier than the idea that my card had been stolen without leaving my pocket. The folks at loss prevention said they will be investigating and will try and find it, but it could have happened any time within the last six months.

So things ended quite happily for me. I can sigh a sigh of relief…for now. But I also wanted to pass on two little thoughts about Mr. loss prevention bot.

First, it was way too long before the machine started talking to me. I was just about to hang up the phone because I thought it was a telemarketer. Rexall’s prescription reminder thingy talks pretty quickly after you pick up the phone. TD needs to make the lag shorter if they can.

Second, it would be better if the bot’s message was simply “Loss prevention needs to talk to you. Please call Easy Line, or visit your local branch.” Getting people to be ok with pressing 1 because the machine said so is setting them up for other scammers to exploit them. When it comes to banking and personal info, the person should call the entity, in my opinion.

And according to the folks at the bank, they have had to deal with quite a few skimming victims lately. So, everybody, watch your bank balances and stuff. Nobody should be able to go on a gambling spree on your dime.

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