How much was dinner? or was that the tip?
Turns out Melissa and I had another first this weekend. Our first strike of fraud. In todays world I suppose it is bound to happen … but when you go to take money out of your account and you are missing $300 dollars it is not a pleasant moment. But as with all things it is a learning experience.
First, research … who was the jerk? Well, the charge was on ‘hold’ on our pocket check card … so it was on the VISA system and not our debit (for those in Canada … this is a different system than Interac … one that allows you to run credit card purchases and debit transactions through the same card – both of which directly come out of your checking account. Great system when you are on a tight budget and want to really watch what you are spending … there is no credit – just your cash. We noticed charge attempts at $4500, $3000, and twice at $900 (never rounded numbers … all off just a little) … now isn’t that suspicious! This all before finally getting an approved amount of $302.
Turns out the unknown charge occurred 30 minutes after our dinner bill was processed … in Chattanooga. Info from the bank combined with Google power we found Hamilton Place and their $300 gift card … and their location in Chattanooga. Well … we did stop in Chattanooga … to visit the train (free) and eat dinner (ahh .. not $300 worth though). Then it was back on the road … we were on a road trip. Once the charge “posted” (the transaction completed) we confirmed it was a charge at the Chattanooga location … not looking good for our server.
We have now visited our bank, RBC Centura, and issued the papers to get our money back … in the process learned a couple things. First, the system does not allow us to get our money back right away. This is due to freud protection on the banks side. Remember this is not ‘credit’ this is the actual account so we could take the money and run. Thus we now await their 20 day initial investigation turnaround. Credit cards can issue immediate refunds due to the fact that you can’t just take off with the money … so we were told it is smarter to write checks, use cash, or use credit cards … the “Pocket check” card, though convenient, is the worst for security. And of late, the freud surrounding those has been getting really bad. RBC has taken good care of us, our account manager is so nice, protecting us from bounced checks until after our next rent payment is due (we should be fine … but still .. we are out 300 clams here).
As for Fredric … you better watch out. While we are thrilled you think of us as worth stealing from … but we did not like it so much. We are working with the bank, the restaurant, and the mall to get to the bottom of this. And though you may not be that final person, you were our server and you allowed our information to be stolen while we had placed it in your trust. That was not very nice of you!
… oh! And happy birthday to me 🙂 … guess I can make one more notch in my wall surviving another 365 days. At least I did not turn 30 … like Byron, Darren, Mark, and Vic … I am not THAT old. Can’t wait to get home and open the gifts I noticed on the table as I left for work this morning … tee hee … maybe Joe will help me unwrap, he only wants the boxes anyways!!