Don’t Lose Your Credit Card In Las Vegas!

Sometime during lunch Helaine dropped her credit card. She didn’t know it was missing until she got a text from Chase.

While she was reading the text I was looking at an email. Chase was pulling out all the stops. They wanted answers. They were in a hurry!

Hello Mr Geoff Fox, please respond immediately

Action required  Please confirm activity   Gmail

Are you kidding? $3121.50! They didn’t want to turn down a legit purchase this size. My call really was important to them.

I can’t be sure, but the initials GCA appear on the fraud notice and the ATM’s at the hotel we were visiting. It’s likely whomever found the card tried to get $3,000 (plus fees) in cash.

Why? Because Las Vegas!

Diogenes wouldn’t have liked it here.

By the time Helaine got Chase on the phone more purchases had been denied. In one store the crooks were asked for ID, then said they didn’t have it with them.

There was a time merchants would be told to hold onto the card. They don’t that anymore. Too dangerous in the 21st Century.

The bank has limited their exposure by freezing the account. Chase 1 Crooks 0.

Meanwhile, the Foxes are minus the card while away from home. And, of course, we will have to inform everyone AGAIN!!!


A New Credit Card… Again

A New Card Is On The Way  GmailExcuse us while Helaine and I pull all our hair out by the roots one strand at a time!

Our Southwest Airlines credit card is being replaced, again. The new card gets a new number. EVERYONE we do business with on a regular basis must be told.

Maybe you remember the last time this happened? We were driving from Connecticut to California. We were in Lincoln, Nebraska when we got the call.

I’ve lost count how many times this has happened, but at least five. We expect Chase not to extend the expiration date, so this will have to be done again in about a year. Make it at least six times.

What we’ve learned through all this is EVERY website puts credit card number changes in a different place. Each requires different hoops be jumped through and that you understand their particular style of business English. Some changes will take seconds, others will follow long minutes of head scratching.

Part of the reason this stings so much is because each-and-every time this has happened it’s been because of how Chase (and other American banks) issue cards.

It’s my understanding the “Target Caper” couldn’t have happened in Europe or Asia. There, credit card issuers have spent a little money to improve security. Here in the states, their security ends up being part of my job!

Not happy.

Again With The Credit Card

visa logoIs it just the Foxes? Are we some sort of credit card scam magnet?

Helaine went to use our Chase Southwest Airlines Visa this morning and — REJECTED.

We had no warning. We had no notice from Chase. They just turned it off.

This is the fifth time!

Your card shut off in the past? Would you leave a comment telling me how many times? I’m really curious.

Helaine called and spoke to someone in the security department. I’m guessing he’s in Costa Rica because of his accent and because I’ve spoken to Chase call center operators there before.

This morning, a little after 6:00 AM while we were sleeping, someone purchased a $10 Petco gift card using our account. A moment later they went back and cancelled their own order.

My account had been sniffed! Someone was checking the number to make sure it was valid. The $10 was just a test. We passed.

Here’s where we get into the weeds. Chase is very diligent with this kind of fraud because they, not me, are on the hook for it. I’m guessing they’re less worried about checking accounts, where the consumer is often left holding the bag.

A few years ago when this happened the Chase agent tried to tell me they were doing this for my protection. No, no, no. My liability is zero (in most cases) by law.

Our card remains shut down, except in California. Tomorrow a new card arrives. Then the hassle begins!

We will have to go through our long list and change the account info for anyone who charges to our card. It’s an hours long process. No two businesses handle card number changes the same way.

So, why do we keep this card which seems attached to trouble? Through a quirk in our spending habits when Stef was in college and again this year, Southwest’s frequent flier program has been especially lucrative.

We have asked Chase to compensate us for this imposition by waiving their fee for the next year. This charge they shouldn’t reject.

This Should Work… But It Doesn’t

You know that line they sent me, “You can use your card with confidence?” No, you can’t.

It was the perfect setup for a Sunday afternoon. Helaine was out shopping. I was taking a nap. Foolishly I’d left the sound up on my cellphone. That’s how Chase woke me with a text.

I had no idea if Helaine had attempted a $121.17 charge at a variety store so I called her.

Yup, it was her purchase. It was blocked.

I texted back a confirming “1” and told Helaine to try again.


You know that line they sent me, “You can use your card with confidence?” No, you can’t.

With Helaine in one ear I made the international circuit of customer service operators finally ending up with ‘no accent’ Karl. Whether Karl fixed the problem or it fixed itself I’ll never know, but the $121.17 charge did finally go through.

This is not my first time to the fraud prevention rodeo. Most of the time it’s a false positive on Chase’s part, as it was today. Each time I say there must be a better way. There probably is, but my time is free to Chase. They have little incentive to make my life easier.

I Don’t Want To Work For Chase’s Fraud Department

As long as I live I never again want to hear, “I understand Mr. Fox.” “I understand” doesn’t mean I’ll help you.

The phone rang as I was trying to watch the UCONN-Syracuse game. The caller ID read “TOLL FREE CALL.” I considered letting it go to voicemail, but fought the urge and answered.


On the other end of the line was a computerized voice. It had some suspicious credit card purchases for me to check. We’re just back from New York City. Charge questions seemed plausible.

I didn’t get to see the second half of the UCONN game. Did I miss anything?

The suspicious purchases were out-of-state phone sales from Home Depot and Target. One was for around $10 the other over $900. They weren’t mine. They had been denied by Chase.

And so began an hour plus of painful conversations with Chase’s polite, but totally unhelpful staff in the Philippines!

As long as I live I never again want to hear, “I understand Mr. Fox.”

“I understand” doesn’t mean I’ll help you. In fact it’s used specifically so the person on the line doesn’t have to admit they’re not going to help you! I know from experience they’re not going to help me.

Actually, I understand.

This is the fourth time we’re going through this! 1-2-3-4. I am not as pleasant or forgiving as I was in numbers one through three.

Because my credit card number is known by someone scurrilous Chase wants the account shut down. Once it’s shut they’ll issue a new card. That’s what Chase wants.

Here’s what I want. Chase issues me a new card and I’ll shut the old account as soon as I have it.

What I want is against the rules. These aren’t laws or regulations. Chase makes these rules! They were not devised with my convenience being a consideration.

The problem is Helaine and I now have to go through our list of monthly automatic charges. Each company has to be called or written. We have hours of work ahead of us.

Beyond that we have to go a day (or more) without my only credit card which in 21st Century America is a large, not small, hassle.

This is really Chase’s problem. By law they are responsible for the charges. Why are they sharing their hassle it with me? Why do I have to work for their fraud department?

I’m about to scream. It will be loud enough to be heard in the Philippines!