Someone stole my credit card. Not out of my hand or purse. Out of thin air. Somehow they got the number and bought nearly $2,000 worth of what appears to be beauty supplies, spa treatments, hair products and nutritional supplements. In a matter of four minutes, someone bought more beauty products than I have purchased in my lifetime and they did it on my dime in London, England.
It happened on the way home from our grandson’s college graduation in Kansas City, Mo. I’d paid for our room and several meals on my credit card and, of course, gas purchases. I have an alert set up on my phone to make a “ping” sound when my credit card is used. I added it as a reminder to myself of how much I have spent and to make sure the purchase price was accurate.
On the day of my credit card theft, we were driving along the lush green countryside in the middle of nowhere when I got several “ping” sounds from my phone. Twelve of them. I called the number on the back of my card for help. The young man on the other end of the connection said that my credit card would be shut off immediately and a new one issued.
At least I think that was what he said. The wind was blowing hard and the engine of the car seemed to be louder than usual. He might have said “tough luck, Cookie.” I wasn’t sure. All I knew was that I was glad I had enough cash to purchase one more gas purchase before we arrived home, as not having a credit card to use had suddenly become very inconvenient. Good thing I’m quite skilled at digging in car seats and sofa cushions for loose change.
When I got home, I called the emergency number for the credit card again and they told me that they were looking into the disputed purchases. It would take a few weeks to sort it out.
“I can assure you that I was on the road near Sioux Falls, S.D., when the purchases occurred,” I offered, trying to be helpful.
“We will let you know what we find out.”
“These purchases are all for beauty-type products!” I could feel myself getting worked up as I spoke and calculating how much the price per pound of beef is these days and what the grain market looks like in case they didn’t believe me.
I continued speaking. “I don’t use beauty products, I can assure you. While many Midwestern farm women look like a million bucks, I happen to be one who doesn’t wear makeup, dye her hair, or concern herself with any nutritional supplements outside of the world of ice cream. I’m 30 pounds overweight and to me a spa day is going into town to have lunch with some girlfriends.”
“Yes, ma’am,” the young man acquiesced. It was then I remembered that the call was being recorded. At least that is what a recorded voice told me before the fraud line was connected. I suppose that is so the caller doesn’t cry too long and the employee doesn’t swear at the caller.
“I can send you a picture, if you want, “I offered. “To show you that such purchases aren’t even on my radar. And besides, I’ve never been to England. I’d like to go, but never have had the opportunity. I’d love to see where Shakespeare performed his plays. I hear the food isn’t the greatest and the traffic is bad in London, but I’d still like to go.”
“Yes, Ma’am. You will be getting a new card in the mail. We’ll investigate and you will get a letter from our division with the results.”
“There are foreign transfer fees on there too, whatever that means. I don’t want to have to pay those either,” I said, getting myself back on track.
“Yes, Ma’am. If the disputed charges are found to be fraudulent, the transfer fees will be removed.”
“IF?” The uncertainty of the remark alarmed me and caused a restless sleep that night. I woke with the decision that if they don’t get the fraudulent charges dismissed, I may have to go to London myself and look for a well-rested, well-groomed, beautiful woman with dyed hair, an impeccable manicure, and a healthy glow about her.
Maybe I’ll stop and visit Shakespeare’s home while I’m there, too.