Monday, June 18, 2007

The F word

I must have said the word "fraud" 100 times today. Part of my job (which I am not allowed to talk about yet I seem to do a lot of) is to get people to fill out this giant 22 page form giving me the right to run a background check on them to prevent any sort of fraud against the company for which I work. WHEW. Talk about run on.

So, I had this conversation with 3 different people today discussing these forms, their use, and how so many people have tried in the past to fraud...fraudulize? What's the active...wait, fraud is a noun so there is no active tense. Too bad The Editor never blogs anymore. I am sure she would have something to say about my grammar. Anyway, I said fraud a bunch.

That is why when my phone rang this evening at 8:30pm and the number came up as "out of area" I was hypersensitive. On the other end was a lovely man whose name I forget exactly but was something like Apu. He asked to speak to "Kelvis." No, acutaly, he just assumed I was "Kelvis" and said "hello Kelvis." Anyway, kind of like the way on certain days when I haven't had very much human contact I enjoy answering the door to find 2 young men in black pants, white short sleeve shirts and black ties named Elder Mar and Elder Jeb, tonight I thought "this could be fun."

Anywho, Apu launched into his script that he was calling from Chase credit and that identity theft is a big issue and that Chase is committed to fraud prevention and blah blah blah blah blah. Then Apu says that they are going to send me all sorts of information and a plan to help prevent fraud and I can cancel at any time and he just needs to confirm my address.

"Is your address 72...73...732 Evre...Evergrai...Evergreen Terrace?"

"Oh, Apu," says me, "do you really think, after your very compelling speech about fraud prevention, that I would actually tell you my address? You already know my phone number and, presumably the name attached to that number. I prevent fraud for a living and I know that with a person's name, their phone number and their correct address I can find their social security number, their driver's license number, their date of birth and whether or not they voted in the last election. So, there is no WAY I am going to give you my address."

He politely asked if he could transfer me to his supervisor.

"Sure," say I.

Sanjay the supervisor then comes on and says, "hello is this Kelvis Valley Grrl?"

"Well, that's who you called."

"Ms. Grrrl, we are calling from Chase.....blah blah blah....repeat Apu's script....blah blah blah."

He then adds that he is not asking me to tell him my address, he just wants me to confirm it.

I tell him that if, in fact, he works for Chase, then Chase has an address to which they send a bill each month and if they want to offer me fraud prevention, they are more than welcome to include the information in the envelope with my bill, but there is NO WAY I am going to tell him or confirm my address.

Oh, and now the baby is crying and I have to go.


Look, I am no Ralph Nader or even a lesser man's John Stossle, but GIVE ME A BREAK. People, please, don't give or even confirm ANY personal information over the phone, or, GOD FORBID, in an email. If your credit card company wants to offer you fraud prevention, they can put it in with your monthly statement. Then, you can call them yourself and get the info. If your bank has a problem with your account, they will call you. They are not going to email you. Don't respond to emails from your bank, or any lender or credit company including PayPal. If your bank calls you with a problem, respectfully tell them that you will hang up and call them back. Don't get the number from them. Just call your branch and go through the prompts till you get to customer service. The time you spend being careful is far less than the time you will spend cancelling cards and calling banks and creditors if someone does manage to steal your identity.

Shop online all you want but do so with a credit card that you use for nothing else. Read your statement each month and immediately report any unknown charges.

I could go on and on, but I didn't intend for this to be a life lesson.

Really I just wanted to tell you how I entertained myself tonight during summer repeat season.

Next post - how to avoid buying a lemon from Rusty Wallace. Just say no.


Blogger Joe Powell said...

and i bet "Apu" could not even spell his own last name either. (It's Nahasapeemapetilon, and yes, I had to go to the Simspsons web page to find out.)

and yer right, The Editor is a most infrequent blogger.

I just posted picture on my page of the White Monkey in Elvis' TV Room. I consider my Elvis Duty of the Month done now.

8:41 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger C said...

Now this is some good I-is-bored-and-now-you-must-pay fun. Good stuff. I should add two things: 1) It helps to have a name that acts as a built in b.s. screener. Anyone calling for me by my legal first name doesn't know me. Plus, it's tricky to pronounce. Instant alarms go off as well when someone mangles my last name... usually, I don't stick around that long. They've gotten the dial tone by the time they go,, Cam- and 2) I'll also tag on this life lesson: help protect the email addresses of your friends. Just as you wouldn't just give out your friend's home phone numbers, do the same with their email addresses. If you want to send broadcast emails to a number of people you adore, use the "Bcc" field to do it. It's just like the "To" field, but will "blind carbon copy" everyone on your list, effectively embedding or burying the email addresses to which you'd sent your letter.

Very nifty trick!

5:10 PM, June 29, 2007  

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