Thursday, April 10, 2014

Target, Bodega ATMs, and "I was ROBBED!"

If there is one positive thing I can always say about Wells Fargo bank it would be "There fraud department does NOT play." They are always on it! Let me tell you what happened THIS time...

First off, I live in Brooklyn. There are no Wells Fargo banks or ATMs around, and for some odd reason, the stores near my house do not give cash back on purchases so most of the time, I hit up the Bodega unnamed ATM to take out cash. I'm actually trying to stop this because on average, I get hit with a $5 fee (total) to do this. This amounts to about $20 a month I'm spending to get money out of a shady ass ATM. Secondly, I use my bank card at Target all the time. I even used it around the time of that Target hacking situation. However, I thought I was safe. Apparently, I was wrong.

Last night while I'm enjoying a quick nap, my phone rings. It's Wells Fargo. Of course, I missed the call, so before I call back I check my account online. I see TWO purchases I did not make. One in TN and one in CO. I'm in Brooklyn. This isn't right...I call. "Of yes Ms. Baltimore, someone tried to charge $550 at such and such hotel, but we declined this. This wasn't you?" HELL NO. And then here comes the whole let's go through the last week of purchases and credits to see if any other suspicious activity has happened. It's only the two charges, and they total less than $100.

"Ms Baltimore, do you make online purchases?"  DUH I'm thinking. I was about to buy a cute pair of python flats from Zara before you guys called. Now...I guess I gotta wait. I'm told I shouldn't use my card online no matter how safe it seems...get a pre-paid card or generate another card number on my account to use just online...blah blah blah...so you saying I gotta go through changes to buy things I really don't need online (I do need those shoes though...)

Not thinking about how I'm going to live I tell them to cancel my card. DELETE ALL THAT SHIT. As I'm sitting there talking to fraud, I realize...I only have $10 to my name. I didn't think...let me run to the Bodega ATM and take out xyz. I'm told 7-10 days for a new card (sent to my mom's house in Maryland...so add another week for me to get it). I can get a temp card but alas, there is no Wells Fargo in Brooklyn or the Bronx so I'd have to take off work to go get a new card. Le sigh. I hang up, stressed and defeated.

I'm not too concerned with the money because I know I will get it back and it's a small amount. But this is the second time this has happened since I moved to NYC. I can't pinpoint where I'm getting got and I doubt it's online because this never happened before! I been buying things online since 2005! I know how this works! So I don't know if this is the Target scam still going on or if it's the shady Bodega ATMs (ironically I used the ATM at McDonalds the day before so maybe it's the shady 99 cent ATM). I have no clue but my advice to everyone out there...cash is king. Keep money  hidden in your house just in case this happens and you can't go to the bank. Also, have a back up account at another bank (I do but I don't know the pin to the ATM so WHOMP. Yes I know I can call to get it). 

So basically I'm officially broke until I find a way to get to the bank and get a new card. Thanks petty ass thief.

p.s. I am thankful that these ppl really didn't get me for more money or that losing this $100 won't affect my livelihood. If this was 3 years ago, I'd be at home crying on the floor.
p.p.s. I would change banks, but Wells Fargo is so good about things like this...they just really need more ATMs around.