Bank of America Fraud Protection – What Fraud Protection

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It’s 3AM and I just am so ragey right now I have to vent.

On Friday, May 9th, after a 6-hour flight to Boston, I turned on my phone and saw several text messages from Bank of America.  There were suspicious charges processing on my checking account, and they wanted me to verify if they were authorized or not.  While waiting in line to get off the plane, I called them (at the same time, someone at BoA was trying to call me according to my missed calls log).  I spoke to a rep, verified that I did not recognize the charges, and was told that it looks like my debit MasterCard had been compromised.  They would close the card, send me a new one, and take care of these charges (over $300).

A few days later, on the 12th, I check my account online and the fraudulent charge posted, along with a $9.66 Bank of America international transaction fee.  WHAT!  They had called me, and we verified it was fraud, so what the hell happened?

I get on live chat, talk to a rep who was clueless about the previous conversation but saw that the card was closed, and told me that I had to file a claim for the charge.  I also noticed that there was a pending charge from the same merchant for $300+ more.  I asked the Bank of America rep why they didn’t just deny the charge since I’ve already told them 3 days earlier that the charge was fraud.  He told me there was nothing they could do until the charge posts.  Don’t banks deny charges all the time??

He put in a claim for me, and a temporary credit for the amount and fee.  He told me that the pending charge may not post, but if it does, they will automatically credit me and open another claim.

So now on the 21st, before bed, I check my account online and on the 19th there are TWO MORE $300+ charges from the same fraudulent merchant plus TWO MORE Bank of America international transaction fees.  This is after two conversations with Bank of America, and 10 days after I already spoke with the fraud department and told them I didn’t recognize this merchant (I googled it and it’s some company in Nigeria).  This is also 10 days after this card was supposedly closed so why is Bank of America continuing to give my money to a KNOWN AND REPORTED fraudulent merchant?  What was the point of the texts and phone conversation on the 9th?  “Hey, we noticed somebody is trying to take your money.  We’re gonna tell you we’re on top of it, but in reality, we’re just going to let them take your money over and over and on top of that, charge you fees!”

RAGE.

I tried to call them again tonight but keep getting “Due to extenuating circumstances, we cannot take your call at this time.”  I tried the Live Chat, but the person I got was more like a copy-paste robot.  She basically ignored what I was saying and spent time explaining why I had those international transaction fees, giving me Bank of America’s policy on international transactions, totally missing the fact that THESE ARE FEES FOR KNOWN FRAUD CHARGES BANK OF AMERICA LET POST ON A CLOSED CARD.  After I told her the fees are not the point, she told me to try live chat again after I contact the merchant for a refund.  WTF.  UGH.

I need to wait until 7AM to call them.  For the record, I don’t know how this card got compromised.  I never use my debit MasterCard for anything (I use my credit card for the rewards points).  It’s just been very frustrating thinking that this had been taken care of twice.  When I first talked to BofA, ZERO fraudulent charges had posted.  Now, I’m out nearly $1000!  It’s been such a joke!

A Good Day for Photos

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I had a couple opportunities to dust off the old DSLR today.

My bird feeder was crowded with house finches this afternoon.  I saw the usual dowdy brown females but also spotted 3 different males: the standard red male house finch along with the rarer orange and yellow varieties.  They’ve finally grown accustomed to the sound of the camera shutter and aren’t flying away anymore.

Four House Finches at the Bird Feeder

Four House Finches at the Bird Feeder

A Female, an Orange Male and a Yellow Male

A Female, an Orange Male and a Yellow Male

Female House Finch

Female House Finch

Red Male House Finch

Red Male House Finch

Tonight was also the so-called Blood Moon lunar eclipse.  The moon never did look red or bloody to me, but I did have a clear view of the celestial event from my kitchen window.  My favorite part was when the moon was almost entirely eclipsed, and without the Earthshine, the moon looked very round and solid and just more substantial.  Less magical.

April 2014 Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse

I’m pretty happy with how these photos came out, especially considering that all these photos were taken through dirty glass windows and dusty screens.

A Wreath for Spring

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I splurged on a wreath!  I’ve been missing the wreath we had up for Christmas (and most of January) and wanted something on our door to usher in spring.

Pink Clematis Spring Wreath

Pink Clematis Spring Wreath

I found this gorgeous, handmade floral wreath on Etsy and after some hemming and hawing (it’s pricey!), I bit the bullet and ordered it.  Since it’s made to order, I’l have to wait a couple of weeks before I can hang it on my door.  I can’t wait!

Beautiful Floral Spring Wreath

Beautiful Floral Spring Wreath

My Dog Hates Going for Walks

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Maybe I actually have a cat.

Maybe I actually have a cat.

Jake has never been all that keen on walks.  This has taken some getting used to after 12+ years with Jesse.  You see, Jesse loooooooooooved walks.  She would actually grab her own leash and shove it in our hands, sometimes several times a day or just an hour after coming back in.  During our walks, she would grow stiff and heavy if she thought we were turning back, angling her body in the direction she wanted to go in.  She was always eager to explore unfamiliar routes and could stay out for hours.  When she was younger, an hour-long walk was normal, though by her standards, too short.

For Jake, 15 minutes is pushing it.  He’s a skittish dog, easily startled by loud noises.  They trigger a flight response in him.  Or rather, a “bolt” response.  It reminds me of old cartoons where a character is trying to run away, but panic causes him to run in place and the floor folds up in ruffles.  That’s Jake.  Motorcycles, a car backfiring, doors slamming—they all would send him bolting.  He’d be gone in a flash if it weren’t for the 100-lb weight attached to him (me).  So instead, he ends up frantically sprinting in place while I try to keep my shoulder in its socket.

He has been getting better though.  It’s been easier to calm him down and carry on.  He’s less wary of strangers, more sociable with dogs.

Well, he had been getting better.  For the past week, whenever it was time to go for a walk, he would dash under the bed and out of reach.  No amount of calling would get him out, not even with my I’m-the-boss-here-alpha voice.  I now have to casually close the doors to all rooms before reaching for his leash.  If he beats me to it, the only way to get him out is to go in the kitchen and rustle some plastic bags or move containers around.  He comes rushing in thinking there’s food to be had and then, huzzah!, I trick you!

During the walk, he seems pretty normal.  He poops, he pees, he sniffs, he tries to go back every quarter block.  I don’t get it. It’s not like anything out of the ordinary happened a week ago so why the reluctance?  My dog is a weirdo.

Butterfly in the sky…

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I am binge reading again. Like with working out and eating healthy, I dedicate myself completely for several months, only to abruptly lose interest. Rinse and repeat.

I’m on the library’s waiting list for several books, and recently, three became available at the same time. Would I be able to read all three within the 21-day lending period? I had to try, and yes, I can—er—did!

Books Books Books!

Books Books Books!

I read Allegiant, Oryx and Crake and Life After Life.  The final book in the Divergent series was a complete disappointment.  Fortunately, Margaret Atwood’s poetic tale of genetic engineering led astray was enthralling, and I was pleasantly surprised by Kate Atkinson’s unconventional period piece. I’m not one for historical fiction, but Atkinson’s concise yet vivid writing style kept me riveted.  I’ll be giving her other novels a go.

In the past few months, I’ve also read the earlier Divergent books (I’m pretty meh on the series), World After (even better than Angelfall), Gone Girl (overrated), all seven books in the Fever series, Seraphina, and Flowers for Algernon.  There were long stretches when all my free time was spent reading, and I loved every second of it!

I’m now waiting for my turn for The Year of the Flood, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Doctor Sleep. In the meantime, Stranded (book 11 in the Maggie O’Dell series) and World War Z just became available—I’m insatiable right now!

Tweets: Saturday, 01/04

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Tweets: Friday, 12/27

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Tweets: Monday, 12/23

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  • This plastic bag and I are the only ones at the bus stop this morning #Christmas week in #Hollywood http://t.co/1tZDFdTWhM ->
  • Traffic is so light, the bus driver is driving so frustratingly slowly and lingering at each stop. ->
  • Out for lunch and there's a line 3-blocks long for the Best Buy/Costco/ToysRUs parking lot. Ahhh #Christmas! ->
  • It'll take 90 minutes to walk home. Might be faster than dealing with this traffic and packed buses ugh. ->
  • Watching Magic Mike. Don't really get all the hype about this movie. Finding it pretty boring and not a fan of the framing and direction. ->
  • I can see the #Chihuahua in him here #dogs #Christmas http://t.co/OQtjxAcur3 ->

Tweets: Saturday, 12/21

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