I am the suspicious activity on my account.

For the last couple of years our credit/debit card has been cancelled over and over because of “suspicious activity.”  I never know that my card been cancelled until my card is turned down by an uncomfortable cashier, and that’s always nice because it’s such a great self-esteem booster when your card gets declined at the drugstore when you’re buying toilet paper and milk.

The really crappy thing is that 90% of the time the suspicious activity on my account is me.  You’re protecting me from me.  Yes, strangely-judgmental-bank, I’m the one buying tiny cat wigs from Asia, and taxidermied pegasuses, and giant metal chickens.  And then I go to buy a two-head bob-cat and my card gets declined I have to get on the phone to explain to the bank that I’m the one who bought a box full of cobra and that I don’t appreciate their implied criticisms, and then they say that they’re very sorry but that they’ve already cancelled the card and I’ll have to wait until they mail me a new one.

This would be fine if I had another credit card to use, but I don’t because I don’t want to have to pay fees on a credit card when I should just be able to use my debit card for everything if it wasn’t constantly being cancelled.  At this point I’m considering calling my bank every day with notes like, “I am currently looking for infant-sized Wolverine gloves, so please don’t cancel that transaction that when it happens.  PLEASE STOP JUDGING ME, First-National-Bank-of-Canceling-My-Shit.”  (To clarify:  I need tiny gloves with sharp knives sticking out of them, which would make a baby look like she’s Wolverine from the X-Men.  Not gloves that would allow babies to handle wild wolverines.  That would be fucked up.)

Frankly, if I had a dollar for every time my credit card got canceled I wouldn’t even need a credit card because I could live off all those dollars.  Which I guess I would just stuff in my mattress because my bank would just hold all those dollars hostage as well.

I know they’re trying to protect me, and that’s awesome but it’s getting fucking ridiculous at this point and I’m wondering if it’s just me having to replace my card all the time, or if this is happening to other people too, or if maybe my husband has made a deal with the bank to automatically cancel anything I try to buy that looks awesome.

So, poll time:

 

**************

And now, time for the weekly wrap-up:

sid

 


Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Crumple + Toss, a bad-ass stationery shop that caters to paper lovers of all kinds.  They are awesome.  From them: “Sure, we got your typical “With deepest sympathy” cards, but we also have “This fucking sucks. I’m sorry” as well. We have wedding cards that say “shit.” We have flowers AND cats. And flamingos. And moose. The fun doesn’t stop with cards with profanity, cats and awkward compliments. C+T also has a shit ton of super awesome notebooks, list pads and stuff. Come see what we gots. You won’t be disappointed.  And if you are, well, that’s your problem.”

250 replies. read them below or add one

  1. You are not alone. Although, it’s only happened to me once and it was a gigantic pain the ass. I had memorized the number for ordering pizza. No way I could remember the new number.

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    Michelle recently posted Showing My Ass.

  2. Lol I had mine cancelled and found out whole I was trying to pay for gas and on empty! I had no cash and they would not take a check! So I literally prayed the entire way home that I would not run out of gas! I sacked and two days later my new card came in the mail!

    Like

  3. I have, on more occasions than I would like to admit, called the credit card company saying its a fraudulent charge…just to realise it was something I did. Like online sex toys. Sigh. Glad I’m not the only one.

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    Ann St. Vincent recently posted OKCupid Massive Fail.

  4. Huh, I just have holds placed on my account when they find my purchases suspicious. Like ordering from an overseas store I successfully ordered from a few months prior. So suspicious to shop from the same store twice, surely no one needs two bottles of whisky.

    Also, I seriously thought you wanted gloves for a baby wolverine (which you naturally had taxidermied and were trying to dress up all fancy) and didn’t even consider the other two options until you mentioned them. It’s my day to think outside the box…or the glove as the case may be.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Given that your store is called EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE I am guessing it’s no coincidence that your card is frequently cancelled. Air seems you may have a knack for ways to playing mind games with the bank, but then someone has to do it.

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  6. I saw something this weekend that will get your card cancelled! I was at a flea market and I’m pretty sure I met Taxidermy Jim.Who else would have a canoe full of stuffed critters? And I bought some minks that my groundhog is now wearing- is a sentence that make sense to only a few people. See blog post.

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    kstewand4cats recently posted I am told that pimpin’ ain’t easy.

  7. You CAN have the bank put a note on your account. Something like “account holder has unusual hobbies and actually purchases taxidermy animals on purpose” might help? Like when you go on vacation and call to tell them where you’re going so they don’t turn off your card when you’re in Europe (happened to a friend of mine) or moving cross country and putting gas in a moving truck and car (happened to me).

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  8. Wow! I would change banks. Ours frequently holds the card but never completely cancels it. We go to Canada a lot and it is just awesome when they judge us for that🙂
    Ps thanks for linking to that last blog post….I needed it.

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  9. Don’t they know who you are??

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  10. I knew you meant the X-Men Wolverine before you clarified. Should I be afraid?

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  11. I have one particular credit card that constantly puts holds on transactions for online coffee orders, online pizza orders, and Amazon. Let’s be honest about this – I’m always ordering from these type of website, so what’s suspicious about it?

    Also, I did recently have my credit union place a hold on my debit card because I was in Florida. I figured this out at a K-Mart in the keys, while trying to purchase $60 worth of stuff. Granted, I live in Illinois, so Florida is a bit out of my geographic range. But they didn’t cancel my card, they just put a hold on it, so all transactions were declined. I had to call my branch and have them enter travel dates…

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  12. Discover made my husband get on the line at Men’s Wearhouse when he bought a suit one time. It had never happened before.

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  13. I follow a few people on things like Patreon and Twitch which means that every month I get a whole bunch of small $5 charges to my debit card all at once from the States (which is international, for me)… That often trips something at the bank. For me, though, that usually just ends up with a computer phoning me and confirming that the transactions are real, they don’t just immediately cancel the card… I can’t imagine the thinking that went into that idea…

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  14. I’m wondering why cat wigs have yet to make it big over here. If I were a cat, I’d want to look like something else. Like Cher maybe.

    Oh, and ever since I saw your taxidermied pegasus, I’ve been on the hunt for my own. It’s good to know in advance that banks have a tendency to judge that sort of thing.

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    Manicmom recently posted It’s kind of like I’ve already won the lottery.

  15. Just got a frantic call from my husband in another country that they cancelled his card AGAIN even though he travels internationally all. the. time. and the bank knows this. So outrageously frustrating. We don’t even buy the boxes of cobras and still with this mess. It’s like they are trying to make my head explode.

    (That happened to me every week on book tour even though I called to tell them I’d be in a different city each day. Eventually I just started carrying cash. ~ Jenny)

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  16. I have one particular credit card that constantly puts holds on transactions for online coffee orders, online pizza orders, and Amazon. Let’s be honest about this – I’m always ordering from these type of website, so what’s suspicious about it?

    Also, I did recently have my credit union place a hold on my debit card because I was in Florida. I figured this out at a K-Mart in the keys, while trying to purchase $60 worth of stuff. Granted, I live in Illinois, so Florida is a bit out of my geographic range. But they didn’t cancel my card, they just put a hold on it, so all transactions were declined. I had to call my branch and have them enter travel dates…

    Like

  17. I’m pretty sure my husband should call the bank and be like, look, this lady is not making good decisions so please don’t let her spend all our money on tiny keys and clock parts. Because if it is tiny and looks like hardware, I can’t resist. I don’t even know.

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  18. Cancelled? No. Phone calls about possible fraud that are just me buying college textbooks, or daring to use my credit card at 5 different places (all of which I’d shopped at before) in one day? Yes. Have they ever called me about the times there was REALLY fraud on my credit card? OF COURSE NOT.

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  19. It happens to me every now and again because someone somehow stole my card number.

    However, there are many free credit cards you can get – pay off your whole bill every month, and tada no interest. Get a Discover card for cashback or something else free that gives you miles.

    Like

  20. By this point, wouldn’t you think the bank would be suspicious when you try to buy normal items? No offense.

    (None taken. I agree totally. ~ Jenny)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Get an American Express card from Costco. SACU credit card won’t let me buy anything on line or on the phone from New York, New Jersey Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and about 12 other cities/states because of computer fraud. The SACU credit card did allow some cretin to buy train tickets and movie tickets in Mexico, but wouldn’t allow me to buy vacuum cleaner bags from New Jersey. AMEX lets you buy anything anywhere, and you can buy 36 rolls of toilet paper at one time at Costco.

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  22. It seems to me that your bank is overzealous in its attempts to protect you from yourself. They need to just assign your account to a person who will call and ask you about strange charges instead of the knee jerk reaction of canceling your card. You’d think they would get tired of sending you new cards.

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  23. I have had my card canceled, although it’s usually because the bank suspects that there will be suspicious activity. They don’t even want to give me the chance. I also occasionally get weird looks from cashiers, as if they don’t quite believe that I have a credit card to begin with.

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    Kate recently posted i need to be happy with the man i am.

  24. Unfortunately, even if you only bought mundane things at normal stores, your card would STILL be cancelled because you used it at Target…or Home Depot…or Best Buy, because they got hacked and your information was stolen.

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  25. Life without a credit card in this day and age is a real problem so you have my sympathy. Which is why I’ve learned to trade sexual favors for goods and services. Just kidding. I guess I should quit writing comments and pay attention to this Sunday School lesson.

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    Gina W. recently posted Thoughts on marriage, clowns and Chuck E. Cheese's.

  26. When my bank cancels my debit card they don’t blame it on my purchase – instead they say I’ve been swaping personal info with a debit machine that has had cards stolen or data stolen recently. Apparently I make bad choices on which shops I am intimate with concerning my info. Swiping my clean card in their unclean machines. Sigh. I need to upgrade the class of shops I hang out at.

    (I’ve had that happen too. Never use an ATM at a flea market. ~ Jenny)

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  27. Mine has called me to question my questionable purchases but has never cancelled it outright. I bet you provide lots of entertainment for your creditors🙂

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  28. Fucking hell, it isnt just me?

    That makes this only moderately better.

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  29. This used to happen to me every time I traveled. I tried working with my bank and visa, nothing worked. 3 days after I used my card in a different area it was dead. My mom, who mysteriously never had that problem, would always give me the most condescending looks. Now I carry cash and travel without her as much as possible.

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  30. 30
    jennjamison1215

    This happens to me every semester. The bank sees a large deposit (my financial aid) then I start making online book purchases (my school books) and they cancel my card. I have even called the bank to warn them about the several large internet purchases that will be happening over the next couple of weeks, and they all cancel the card! It is very embarrassing, and very frustrating. I even tried using PayPal linked to my bank acct, and then they just freeze my acct and my rent check bounces! It is extremely annoying and frustrating!

    (That happens to me too. I only get paid twice a year on my book so when the payment comes in the bank is like “Well this is more than you usually deposit so it seems suspect and we’re going to have to hold this for a week before you can put it in your account. Even though it’s from a reputable source and you’ve gotten these checks before and it’s your money. But we’re gonna keep it for awhile first.” ~ Jenny)

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  31. Mine has called me to question my questionable purchases, but never cancelled it outright. I bet you provide lots of entertainment to your creditors🙂

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    Aimee recently posted Survival Looks Good on You.

  32. They cancelled our card for paying a bill that we’d paid 8 times previously.

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    Czaja! recently posted Sriracha Braised Brisket.

  33. Maybe try DIY🙂
    Just not sure how one makes a two-headed bobcat. Haven’t seen that on Pinterest lately.

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  34. Is it actually cancelled or is it “held/suspended”. I’ve had them hold/suspend my card, meaning I don’t get to use it until I call in and confirm a purchase (or prior purchase) but never “cancelled” as in they had to send me a new card because they voided out the old card for good.

    (Canceled. As in, throw away that card and wait for a new one in the mail and then go change all of your auto-pay things on the internet to the new number before your utilities get turned off. They used to just put a hold on it and I’d have to call to get it turned back on but in the last year they’ve just started canceling it altogether because of “suspicious activity” and not letting us know until the card stops working. If I can prove it’s their fault they’ll overnight me a new card but they can’t reinstate the old one. It’s so frustrating. ~ Jenny)

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  35. At least they are cancelling it for trying to buy interesting stuff!
    My credit card company finds it suspicious when I try to buy car insurance or pay a mortgage application fee!

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  36. I thought you were looking for gloves that would fit baby wolverines, and thought there might be an exciting new addition to write about. Oh, well, maybe next time.🙂

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  37. I exaggerated. Slightly. It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but it did happen this past summer. The purchase that my bank declined? An e-textbook. I’m in grad school. I’ve been buying textbooks for almost 2 years now. I had to call the bank and confirm that it was me to be able to buy the damn book (which I honestly didn’t even want). Given the price of textbooks, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that people commit credit card fraud to buy them, but honestly, it just made me feel sorry for them. Like, you’re risking jail time and not even getting a designer bag out of it?

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    Natalie recently posted Beautiful.

  38. Thank you for clarifying the infant wolverine gloves. I actually thought you wanted to buy baby mittens made of wolverine, and I was gonna say I could probably hook you up.

    Liked by 1 person

    Tara recently posted Brothers.

  39. I’m with Pangolin! Thought they were gloves for an infant wolverine, but a real one, not taxidermied. Like baby mittens so they don’t scratch themselves while sleeping. Which is a whole new level of danger when you’re talking about wolverines.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 40
    ocularnervosa

    I would think by now your bank would be suspicious if the purchases were normal stuff like toilet paper.

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  41. There are LOTS of no-fee credit cards available, so it wouldn’t be all that hard to have one as backup. Also, unless the merchandise is part of the name (“Stuffed Roadkill ‘R Us”) the bank doesn’t know WHAT you’re buying, just WHERE you’re buying it. Stop patronizing suspected terrorist front organizations and you’ll be fine.

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  42. Interesting. My bank just calls me to confirm. They don’t go ahead and cancel my whole card!

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  43. Maybe it’s the milk and loo roll that they’re seeing as suspicious?🙂
    Thank you for showing me Toroflux, I must have one now. But not at the $110 that amazon.co.uk are asking!

    (Holy crap. It’s like $20 here. Order it from America. Then your credit card will get cancelled because it’s an overseas purchase. Full circle. ~ Jenny)

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  44. If I had a dollar for every time my account gets cancelled after a trip to Target, I would have enough money to not even need my card. I feel you.

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    The Dose of Reality recently posted This Post Is Brought To You By The Colbert Report.

  45. I thought you were looking for tiny mittens for a baby wolverine to wear.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. I kill banks. Real shit here. I KILL banks. I’ve had no less than SEVEN banks CLOSE due to bankruptcy, etc. while I had accounts at them. Also, I’ve had cards cancelled several times due to “fraud protection” when I was the one using the account!

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  47. It’s totally just you. Or Victor.

    If it makes you feel better, when hubby & I moved across the country our cards weren’t cancelled but they were put on this temporary hold thing because we were in a literally multiple states a day. The bank thought we were on the run or something. So we had to call in and approve our transactions at least once a day.

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    brittanyssp at Stories, Songs, & Praise recently posted Salvation Sunday: Thoughts (Sparked by Evolution).

  48. I refuse to comment on the chance my bank may read this and begin to consider me suspicious.

    CRAP. I’ve commented, if my card is canceled, I’ll know who to blame. 😉

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    Susan recently posted Asthma Action Plan (AAP)!.

  49. The number of times they have called me for fraud when I’ve purchased a $.99 app is ridiculous. They always let me know it’s because the price point is so small and many times people wanting to do fraud will start with small amounts. Apps are $.99! What am I supposed to do? Never buy apps? Offer to pay more? The mind boggles.

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  50. oh dear, it looks like it is time to have “the talk” with your man…

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  51. Ours got cancelled because my husband had to buy tires while 300 miles from home. Not the first time he did that. The second. In the opposite direction. The bank is probably thinking NO ONE buys full sets of tires as souvenirs on every vacation, but what can I say? We time our trips poorly.
    I also misinterpreted the baby wolverine gloves as gloves for a baby wolverine. Didn’t bat an eye, because obviously you would have a baby wolverine and dress it up in fancy gloves and a hat and pearls. Everyone knows that.

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  52. I once rang the bank to let them know that I was going abroad and intended to use my debit card while I was there, so please could they not cancel it if they saw any activity from that country between the specified dates. They replied that they could not guarantee that, and that my card would indeed be cancelled if I used it abroad in a “suspicious pattern” in order to protect my account. I. I just. What.

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  53. I’ve called the credit card company all in a tizzy about a funky charge from a questionable looking website, and then after about 5 minutes of ranting, I realized it was something I had purchased. Glad I realized it before they cancelled the card.

    And where is the “Other” voting selection?? 🙂

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    kdcol recently posted You go girl!.

  54. You need a bank that actually pays attention to how you use your money, rather than compares you to how other people use their money, when they’re trying to decide whether a transaction is suspicious or not. If they knew anything about you, they’d know the wolverine gloves are totally legit. I also think it’s ridiculous that they default to canceling the card and sending you a new one, rather than just putting a hold on your account until you can call them so you can either confirm the transactions were made by you, or confirm they’re fraudulent and THEN cancel the card.

    You just need a new bank, I’m afraid.

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  55. My stupid bank always puts a “fraud alert hold” on my account every time I’m on vacation – even when I call then before I go and TELL them that I’m going to Disney World and don’t fricking cancel my card!! But nope, every time. Thankfully I have more than one credit card, but it’s always the debit card with all the vacation savings on it that gets cancelled…

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  56. 56
    surprisingwoman

    I am commenting on my WP account, which I can’t do from my phone without signing into my WP account so it sounds like you have it figured out.

    I would love a “Fuck Off. I’m Fabulous” shirt, bag, bumper sticker… but I really, really don’t like the bird. Interested in making one without it?

    Like

  57. 57
    robespierrette

    I suggest switching to a card that a) doesn’t charge a fee – seriously, you should not be paying a fee – b) has real customer service people, and c) are OK with random purchases.

    My (slightly odd) suggestion: Nordstrom. No, seriously, Nordstrom. Not only do you get 1% back that you can spend on shoes, etc., but there’s no annual fee, real humans you can talk to on the phone and they don’t even charge a currency-conversion fee if you use their card overseas. I have made really random purchases, and the worst that’s ever happened is that they call me “just to make sure”. And they don’t call me about stuff like purchasing a gift card on amazon.uk for somebody in Sweden. They’re cool that way.

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  58. I pictured tiny baby gloves that look like actual wolverine paws with razor sharp nails, like for some awesome Anne Geddes type Baby dress-up costume except instead of a cute seahorse or a cute owl it’s a cute snarling wolverine baby. Also, my card is always declined when I’m purchasing things I don’t need to have attention drawn to.

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  59. On my wedding day, our card got declined at the linen-renting place. As in, the bank went “hmm. deposit on a church, bills from a suit shop, florist, and cake-bakery place. These people are totally not classy enough to rent tablecloths FRAUD!!”

    And my husband’s card gets cancelled anytime we travel anywhere. Again, apparently buying tickets is not enough of a give-away that we might be leaving our town and thus clearly buying food at, say, an airport is fraud.

    From that, I now can tell you that you can make them remove fraud detection from your account. They won’t really want to, and apparently you can’t ever turn it back on, but you can do it. I’ve had it off for a few years now, and I’ve had absolutely no problems.

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  60. I have actually called the bank when I knew I was going to trigger the fraud alert to ask them to PLEASE DON’T CANCEL MY CARD! I auto-pay everything with that card and it is such a pain in the ass to change it. It is worse when the bill I forgot I autopay doesn’t get paid because I never changed the card. Most often my problem is because I think I have the card number memorized but I just don’t quite have it and I refuse to actually go get the card until I screw it up 3 times. Sadly, I learned the lesson quite a few card changes in. The time I called they actually let me keep my card!

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  61. You need a new card (plus a spare for emergencies). I like Discover: in addition to giving me cash back and never charging a fee, they have NEVER cancelled the card without contacting me first. I do sometimes get a call when their computer flags some transaction as suspicious (such as charges in several different states on the same day), and I suppose if I didn’t answer they would cancel or put a hold on the card, but that has never happened. (And no, they’re not paying me to say this!)

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  62. Thankfully, the only time my card was ever cancled it was because someone tried to use it to book a flight. I say tried, because that was well over the very low limit I have set as a way to protect me from myself……OOOOH SHINY!!!!

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  63. Don’t know if you’ll even see this, but maybe it will help somebody else.

    First of all, credit union. For the love of babies in Wolverine gloves please do not support banks. They do shit like this instead of working with/for you.

    Our credit union let us attach an additional checking account with it’s own debit card (you can write on them with a Sharpie or put stickers on them to tell them apart, it’s not that bad) for stuff just like this. The little account* has no fraud protection on it and we can go online and transfer just the amount we need for whatever weirdness we are going to buy. The bulk of our money is elsewhere and bad people can’t get at it, but when we need to pay someone overseas (that triggers a fraud alert because… terrorists?) we use the little account.

    Who came up with this awesome strategy? Our credit union. The customer service people and the fraud dept people talked it over, called me back, and presented the separate, unprotected account option. We decided to try it and it’s worked out great.

    *No, we don’t actually call it “the little account.” I don’t know you people so its name has been changed to protect its identity.

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  64. Long time reader, first time caller. er, I mean commenter. I just wanted to say that I selected the “this has never happened to me” option, but I in no way think there is something wrong with you. Could you add an option that says, “this has never happened to me and I think you’re awesome.” This would be a much more accurate description of my opinion. Thanks!

    Like

  65. 65
    Thomas Kristensen

    1st world problems…😉

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  66. I’ve had my bank reject transactions so I called and told them to put a notice on my account! Plus it helps having a debit card for 2 different banks so if one rejects a purchase I just turn around and use the other one!🙂

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  67. My favorite credit card rep conversation: spouse: yes, we made that purchase. Why did you put a hold on our card. Card rep: we thought $90 of groceries might be fraud. So we were trying to protect you. Spouse: if it were fraud, would we have had to pay for it? Rep: well….nooo
    Spouse (hollering): so you’re trying to protect yourself, NOT me, the cardholder….
    Rep: gulp
    Spouse: we are canceling that card with you
    (this had happened several times–when I was traveling and needed to pay for a rental car or hotel room…and occasionally in the grocery line. I used to have petit panic attacks waiting at the electronic check-out.)

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  68. I just had $3500 dollars worth of unauthorized porn charges on my card. I WISh the bank would have said something.

    (How does someone watch $3500 worth of porn in one month? My God…the chafing. ~ Jenny)

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  69. I was totally cook blocked by my bank when I broke my Hitachi and tried to replace it by buying online. Apparently buying things from China is a nono for my bank.

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  70. 70
    DarkDisneyPrincess

    The credit union I have been with forever calls me to confirm suspicious activity. When I moved away, I kept my account open and I am so glad I did! The credit union I joined (so that I had a local place to take care of finances) cancelled my card while I was on VACATION!!! Had I not stayed with my original credit union, I would have been ROYALLY fucked. Now, I use a different local credit union (for the sake of direct deposit) & transfer my finances to the original credit union.

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  71. 71
    Jennifer Bender

    You have the best commenters!

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  72. I am always so enetrtained by what my actual criminal purchases with my Black card Visa! $
    $7.50 in gas
    one burger at Wendys`
    Walmart brand boom box!
    Think BIGGER my little criminal robber man!
    I would have bought youy these if you asked??

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  73. I travel a lot and the bank/credit card companies are CONSTANTLY Cancelling my cards. It pisses me off even more because I call them before I leave and they STILL cancel them. Then I call in from East Bumblefuck and they say, oh yes, it does say here that you were planning to go to Estonia, our bad, we’ve mailed a new card to you. I’M IN ESTONIA ASSHAT A CARD BEING MAILED TO MY HOUSE DOES ME NO GOOD. Arrrgh.

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  74. Someone hacks my checking account at least twice a year. This year alone, my debit card has been “compromised” three times! In January, I found out my debit card was part of the Target hacking over Christmas last year. In May, both my debit card number and my husband’s were stolen a week apart — money was stolen out of our account both times. Finally, just last weekend, my bank informed me that my debit card number was part of the Home Depot hacking.

    Since 2000, when my husband’s identity and debit card number were stolen — on Thanksgiving, no less! — our checking account has been hacked at least twice a year. The funny thing is, we’ve been with four different banks since 2000.

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    Shan @ Last Shreds of Sanity recently posted The Words Won’t Come.

  75. I drove across country once and my card was never put on hold or anything. I feel kind of left out. I mean, I don’t travel out of state, so wouldn’t the sudden out of state purchases raise some kind of red flag to at least call me and make sure it’s me.

    Also, you think your bank would learn by now that it’s probably you. (They could call to double check.)

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  76. Wow. I vote with all the commenters that said dump your bank.I buy online all the time, including from overseas stores, and have used my card while travelling internationally, & I’ve never had such bad service from a bank. I think everyone should have several charge cards, for back-up, plus your debit card, if you shop a lot online. No way should you have to pay a fee to have a card. I don’t think anyone does that anymore?Even the late payment fees have gone down, with new consumer protections, the grace periods are longer at most companies.
    I don’t particularly like Discover & Bank of America, much, but they have never canceled my carda outright, just put a hold on it, when I’ve made an unusual purchase, and I can lift the hold with a phone call. AmEx is usually pretty good too. My husband has one, & I share a card. We’ve never had it canceled for a fraud alert.My favorite credit card is from USAA, if you have a parent or grandparent that served in the military, you should qualify to be a “member” and can get insurance & banking services & loans from them. They have an excellent mobile phone app, and responsive customer service people. And it’s a nonprofit.
    That being said, if someone else used my # fraudulently (happens to me every few years) the bank will cancel the account # and send you a new card.

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  77. My old bank used to do this all the time. Pay the electric bill like I do every month? Card cancelled. Buy anything at all from any retailer located in California? Card cancelled. Buy a coffee on Wednesday from the same coffee shop where I’ve bought coffee every Wednesday for months? Card cancelled. Note I said “my old bank.” Because I had enough of that crap and switched to another bank, which has much more sensible policies. I won’t say the name of my old bank, but I will say it rhymes with EE&P. 😉

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  78. OH NO…Don’t use your debit card for anything if you can avoid it!!

    If your bank is like mine, your atm debit card may be the equivalent of a check-card – so when it’s stolen, its as if they’re writing checks right out of your bank account. This happened to me a long time ago before credit card theft was trendy and hep like it is now… Mastercard couldn’t cancel the card for me. They kept saying “It’s like writing a check. We just pass the transaction info. Your bank has to kill the card.” So by the end of the weekend, I was out $10,000+ dollars!!! Right out of my account! Because the fake charges started on Friday night and this was ages ago when banks didn’t have weekend emergency numbers, there was no one there to kill the card. I got to watch fraudulent transactions take place ALL OVER THE WORLD on my card and I was powerless to stop it. <:( Fortunately for me, my bank is awesome, and covered the losses.

    There are nofee credit cards out there — if you pay the balance at the end of every month, they're basically free for you. The credit card company still gets a % of the sales, and is waiting for you to slip up, run up a balance and then they'll get you with interest. Never slip, no problem! http://www.creditcards.com/no-annual-fee.php

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  79. This is why Ziploc should make good on your request for Ziploc bags filled with $100,000 cash. Although I wouldn’t recommend walking around in public with your Benjamins in a clear plastic bag…unless you WANT everyone to see how you roll. On another note, gloves for baby Wolverines – is this stuff you could make in your shop?

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    Eden recently posted Colors of the Wind: A Study in Black and White Landscape Photography.

  80. I’m so sorry about your credit card woes but this honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read!

    Like

  81. And you made me cry. But I’m glad I read that essay.

    Like

  82. You are making me feel bad about my boring online purchases. Amazon, Zappos, and the Apple Store….snore. I need some weird hobbies.

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  83. Really? Cat wigs from Asia? I feel like that should not have been flagged. I mean cat videos are everywhere, so anyone purchasing stuff for a cat should be considered normal. Good luck with the wolverine gloves. Try Etsy!

    Like

  84. I cant help but think that “I am the suspicious activity on my account” would make a great Darkwing Duck introduction.

    Like

  85. Dude! When you said you were going to make a thing, I had no idea you meant a knapsack. Anyway, I thought of the qualifications for those badges after I first tweeted the picture:

    Awkward Even Through Email – 1) Receive a request to defend a person against charges of plagiarism when you are one of the people they have plagiarized OR 2) Accidentally send an intimate message meant for your partner to a business associate or your parents/children.
    Make It Weird – Pull a prank that falls flat or tell a story that clears a room.
    Panicked and Ran Away – When invited to a social function, you spend most of the evening hiding in the bathroom crying.
    Advanced Stabbiness – All your enemies lay slain before you (at least in your mind). Prerequisite for the Ninja Badge.
    Bestselling Author – Get your book on the New York Times Bestselling List. You get the gold badge if it goes to #1.
    Depression Lies – Everyone gets one of these just for showing up.

    Plus I have a few ideas for more.
    Taxiderpy – Assembled a menagerie of dead animals dressed up for a tea party.
    Neurotic – Used undeniable logic to win an argument.
    Time Traveler – Watched every episode of Doctor Who.
    Childhood Survival – Reached adulthood despite your parents best attempts to kill you. (Does not mean you have to act like an adult, however.)
    Literate – Done read a book without pictures innit.
    Hero – Adopted a pet
    Unicorn – Just because you’re fabulous.
    Support System – Helped a friend in need.

    Then again, I might just make a “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” board game because reasons. Also, when do I get my cut of the profits? (I prefer to be paid in hugs and cupcakes.)

    (So far no knapsacks have been purchased but if any are I will totally buy cupcakes for us. ~ Jenny)

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  86. Why did I not see the taxidermied pegusus? I might need one.

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  87. Ours got turned down because we bought gas in two different provinces on the same day. Seriously. We were travelling! There was nothing in Manitoba (never is anything in Manitoba ffs) so we decided to skip that whole place and keep on driving. We got gas in Saskatchewan and BOOM big fat declined.

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  88. We have one card from BoFA that we pretty much never use(because I haaaate them), in the last two years we have used it for something three times. Each of those times, the transaction will go through fine but then my husbands mother will get a phone call about “possible fraudulent use on her son’s card”. I have yet to get an explanation from these jack offs as to why the hell they call my mother-in-law, who is not and has never been on that card. My husband is 35, he doesn’t need okay from his mother to buy a lamp.

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  89. Okay, so I voted the “this is the bank” one just because it made me laugh. Honestly, though, when we were with Chase bank, our card had a hold placed on it any time we left the city of Chicago – which was pretty f******* awkward since all of our family lived very far away from the city. Little brother graduating high school in south Mississippi? Oh, let’s put a hold on your card when you hit the Mississippi state line and stop for gas. Cousin’s wedding in Kentucky? Hahahahahaha, no lunch for you in northern Ohio!

    But then again, this was the same bank that tried to talk me out of getting an account with my husband because they read my drivers license wrong (my maiden name is my middle name) and they thought to do me a favor and let me know it probably wouldn’t last and I wouldn’t want him to have access to my money. No, I’m not kidding. It took six months to fix and they were still calling me Miss (maiden name) two years later when we closed our accounts. So maybe, like Chase, your bank is just full of dumb shits?

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  90. Yes, my card was canceled one due to a legitimately fraudulent charge, but I didn’t find out about it until I tried to pay my bill at a restaurant with a large group of friends and my card didn’t work. Then about six months later there was “suspicious activity” but no fraudulent charge. Then again six months later. I asked them where this activity was occurring so I could stop using my card there, but they “couldn’t” tell me. So frustrating!

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  91. Or… people who order stuff from your shop and get their cards cancelled for buying “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” and they work at your bank so they cancel your card randomly. Lol!!! Every time we’ve had “suspicious” activity on our cards Visa calls us and checks and if we say “yeah that’s sketchy and not us” they cancel, of course our sketchy is: someone in Mexico wants to go zip lining on us, not quite “box of Cobras” sketchy.

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  92. Well, thanks for all that. I laughed so hard at the George-isms on Pinterest that I needed a tissue to wipe my eyes.

    My son’s new parrot was sitting on my shoulder at that moment, and I guess he does not like the sound a tissue makes coming out of the box, or maybe he hates tissues, so he thumped my in the face with his beak as I wiped my eyes. Which is scary and annoying yet truly ineffective for inflicting damage to my cheek.

    Then I read Charley’s column. Now I am bereft, and I am out of tissues, and the parrot is glaring at me. He must be mad that I used the rest of the box. I need to hug my kids. And then I need a lie down. I am undone. Gah, life.

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  93. You know, when my bank suspects fraudulent activity, they call me to verify it. They don’t arbitrarily cancel my debit card.

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  94. My card is normaly fine, however my husband had not made a purchase in three years that was not gas or fast food when he went to buy shoes and they locked it down on the spot lol.

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  95. I’m picturing an infant sized wolverine wearing gloves. I’ve had a lot of caffeine today.

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  96. I get at least 3 text messages a week asking “did you spend $xxx at a novelty shop this week? Press 1 for yes. Press 2 for no.” Love your Pinterest. Tattoo board is fierce.

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  97. ugh. this just happened to me last week! so now I have decided to carry cash, pay for in person purchases with cash, use my I-didn’t-ever-want-to-use-this credit card for online purchases..and then promptly broke my own rule because I didn’t want to put a $1.26 Redbox charge on my credit card..and go to the bank site and make a $1.26 payment on my credit card. Sheesh. More “fun” though was last year when a fake bill collector harassed me for a debt from 15 years ago, got me to arrange monthly payments from my debit card (ugh..I agreed because I wanted them to leave me alone) then I cleared my head, called the bank and said I was canceling the fake agreement, that there’s nothing in writing for that debt. I arranged for a new debit card and asked if the bill collector could still collect using my old debit card number. the bank rep paused and said “well, if they say they have an agreement with you, we have to honor their request”.. HELLO. I am the customer! My bank most recently sent me a letter about my debit card in response to the banks that got hacked that one weekend. so it makes sense but it’s a pain in the butt. s

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  98. Are there really crooks who buy the things that we find interesting and that we absolutely need?!

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  99. I’m 100% positive Victor has paid the bank to cancel your card on a regular basis.

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  100. I thought you were looking for gloves to put on an infant wolverine taxidermy.

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  101. Always found it strange that Americans call a chemist/pharmacy a ‘drugstore’. I’d be a little disappointed if I came over to visit and the chemist wouldn’t let me buy drugs.

    “But this is a drugstore. And you won’t sell me drugs? What if I buy some toilet paper first?”

    Weird. And they sell milk? Why?

    Never mind. I’ll just add it to the list of strange things that Americans do.

    It’s lucky you’re just so damn charming.

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  102. You need a credit union! Mine puts a temporary hold for suspicious activity and calls to ask me about random transactions to confirm they were me. The only suspicious activity in recent history was our vacation, because we never go anywhere and I understand that spending hundreds of dollars at wineries in one day is a little beyond our norm. Thankfully. But boy was that fun.

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  103. I just ordered my NEW WORK MUG! THANK YOU!

    Hopefully my card doesn’t get cancelled… I guess I could just tell the bank to “Simmer the f*** down!” if they do.

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  104. That’s pretty shitty that they can just outright cancel it like that without checking with you. My bank will only ever put a hold on my card until I’ve called them and gone through my statement verifying whether or not I bought stuff. “Why yes, I did buy seven laser pointers and three glass balls from China. Yup, a Mario Kart figurine too. Aaaaand the shark teeth. All me. NO JUDGING.”

    The worst problem I ever had with a credit card was when I moved to the UK and the bank sent my new card to York and a separate envelope containing the PIN to Manchester. Most banks put a hold on your card if you’re in two places at once. Apparently mine expected it of me.

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  105. 105
    fiddlingfrog

    I think that “I am the suspicious activity on my account” would make for an awesome Darkwing Duck introduction.

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  106. only time it happened to me I got a call saying “are you currently in Guatemala?” but I don’t buy anything cool, just normal crap

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  107. perhaps your bank actually thinks the “suspicious activity” is someone using your card to buy something as ordinary as toilet paper and milk

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  108. The only “unusual activity” on my credit card is when I’m actually able to use it.

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  109. My bank, actually a credit union, does pretty well. I’ve had my card canceled three times now, every time for fraud. Once for buying dresses in Sacramento (I’m a guy, live in the midwest, and have never been to Sacramento), once because i was caught up in the big Target scam several months ago, and one other time after a suspicious $2 charge showed up from an online purchase (which, AFAIK, I had not made), followed by some larger purchases a few days later.

    Fortunately, I’ve never had it turned down while traveling. Though back when I did travel, I always carried two credit cards.

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  110. I had my debit card cancelled because I was pregnant and wanted nuts and wedding mints from a specific store in a town I no longer live in. And apparently when people steal credit card numbers, they buy lots of candy? Not sure, but that’s what my bank told me.

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  111. Also, I have an infant and now know I need tiny Wolverine gloves for him. I look forward to my bank cancelling my card over it.

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  112. Will my credit card be cancelled because I took your poll?

    (Probably. But you won’t know until you try to pay for coffee in front of your boss. ~ Jenny)

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  113. I’ve had pretty good luck with Chase (I don’t work there) not fraud holding my card; I travel a lot and pointed that out to them regularly. I did start divorcing my online purchases (credit card 1) from in person transactions (credit card 2). I’ve been told more than once that an itunes purchase followed by a gift card purchase in person is a fraud flag; probably ebay would flag the same thing. Yeah, the fee is a pain, but you can usually get a fee-free card out of someone these days.

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  114. If I had one of those kinetic spring slinky whatever toys I’d play with it all day and never get anything done. I’d be in a trance or something from it’s shiny reflectionness. At least then I’d have a excuse for why I do nothing all day.

    I think it’s pretty awesome that you get your card stopped for buying cool things like infant wolverine gloves. My card was stopped for straight-up stupidity. Went to the ATM and couldn’t remember my DEBIT card password. Tried 6-10 different codes then went to the store and used my CREDIT card – but the credit card was declined! WTH? Turned out I was sticking my CREDIT card in the ATM and trying 6-10 different passwords on it. So then I tried the debit card to get my groceries and COULDN’T REMEMBER THE CODE! Thank goodness my mommy was in town and with me and I was able to use her card.

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  115. You need a CREDIT UNION. Because they’re small, they’ll call you when suspicious activity occurs, instead of just cancelling your card. Jeez.

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  116. I answered yes in solidarity but what we REALLY get is just declined…a lot…and then we call in and they check a few of our recent charges out and we’re good to go until the next time. Ours is because someone tried to steal my husband’s identity though, and PayPal helped the guy, jerkwads.

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  117. Shouldn’t the bank be used to these charges on your card by now? Your baseline is your own. They should worry when you start making purchases as Prada, not antique stores that sell questionable taxidermy.

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  118. My company credit card has been shut down because the system reported me DECEASED. Yup. My credit card company tried to off me. Not once…but TWICE. Talk about an awkward phone call with that customer service rep. What’s the appropriate thing to say in that situation? “I’m sorry we tried to kill you?” The first time the rep actually said, “are you sure?” I wanted to reply “no I’m f-ing with you and this is a call from the great beyond.” Instead I politely replied, “well since I’m me and this call is happening, I’m pretty sure I’m alive right now.” Despite being a little freaked out by it, I’ve taken the situation as a reminder….Carpe Diem! Yes! Buy those shoes!! (Not with the company card, of course!). And now my motto is – you haven’t lived until your credit card company has tried to off you. File that nugget. You never know when you might need it!

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  119. I second the American Express card. Especially something like the Costco one that won’t charge you an yearly fee if you’re a member. But mainly because Amex has incredible customer service, and they just send an alert to your phone asking YOU to verify your own purchase instead of flying off crazy like and cancelling your card without permission. Plus, Amex points! Which you can use to buy stuff off Amazon. And when hubby wants to be all skeptical, you can go: “It was free, yo.” You’re saving him money by buying it.

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  120. Not only has this happened to me on multiple times, including once when I was on my way OUT of the country, where I had to go in person after an hour phone call which they decided I was not me. It’s becoming a running thing that I DO have to warn my bank if it is anything outside of amazon. Seriously. Apparently the only thing they expect me to do is purchase at amazon.

    I had my catering for my bar mitzvah from my absolute favourite restaurant trigger a fraud, a $10 charge on Skype trigger, $18 to a charity trigger several, multiple charges to my synagogue trigger warnings, and religious items trigger fraud warnings (ajudaica), as well as a university charge trigger a cancellation. My personal favourite was when I had to purchase a computer through Walmart (I hate walmart) and not ONLY did my credit card call me but Walmart ITSELF called me all to verify.

    The only time that there was fraud on my account is when they let it go right through and we were held responsible even though we caught it within 48 hours.

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  121. Why do you think there will be fees if you get a credit card? I have Visa, Mastercard and Discover. There are no fees unless you don’t pay the bill at the end of the month.

    Get a second and third card and use them for the non grocery / clothing type stuff. Then, if they get cancelled it won’t affect your ability to eat.

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  122. 122
    Mary, Fairy Godmother

    Sucks about your card but whatever……the real issue is, did you notice what number your book is on the NYTimes list? Yea, The Library. Good luck with that…..should make getting your card cancelled a little more understandable. Just sayin.

    (Yeah. That’s why I said you have to look at the bottom to see it instead of saying what number it was. ~ Jenny)

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  123. So you know how you call ahead to advise the banks you’ll be on vacation from this date to that date in this city, state, or country? You need to make a daily call to your bank with your morning coffee to let them know you are a relic hunter on an endless quest for rare artifacts and can they kindly pre-approve all purchases of two-headed bobcats and the like, tyvm?

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    fillyourownglass recently posted There’s Something About Autumn.

  124. My card doesn’t get cancelled, it just won’t work because my bank puts a hold on it. That totally sucks. One phone calls fixes it but it would be nice if they would CALL ME to tell me they think there has been fraudulent charges so I could confirm before they hold it.

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  125. Maybe just mail the bank a bunch of copies of your book and see if that solves everything…

    On a side note my credit card was recently frozen because I ordered 4 of the same hats and when I called they said it was odd since I ordered four hats. It was def a wtf moment

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  126. My husband works in a field where he travels a lot. He’ll buy thousands of dollars in instruments, withdrawal $15,000 cash, or write a $10,000 check to an individual, all in different states than the account is and get no calls. Weeks later go to get gas in the middle of the night, while on a trip, and the care gets declined. Why? The bank told him that he needed to call them and tell them every time he was going to make a trip! He quickly reminded them that they’re a national bank and he’s told them he travels for work frequently…. It still happens. Last time, he bought a bag of chips and the card was turned off because of it. As for holding money even more hostage…. The bank once tried to refusr to let him use the money in the account, claiming they couls not raise the debit card limit. They raised the limit right quick when he threatened to remove all of the funds in his account.

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  127. Pretty sure you jinxed me. Read this and one hour later, while on vacation in another state, I tried to buy dinner. Want to guess what happened? Yep, card was declined and I had to call the credit card company. As a side note: I am on a serious high right now because a sweet older couple offered to pay for my meal if I couldn’t get the credit card situation resolved. So very sweet! But MasterCard came through and I was able to buy my own dinner.

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  128. I’ve had that happen a couple times. Turns out buying jewelry made with Cicadas, Human Molar rings,and random anime figures and books are not considered “normal” transactions.

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  129. You might see if they can just suspend the account on suspicious activity. That’s what my credit union does, then I get an automated call that I need to call them and tell them if it was fraud or not. So far it never was. But! It’s a matter of seconds for them to unsuspend the card once I say ‘yes, that really was me’.

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  130. 130
    Lady Macbeth

    Jenny, there was a poll on what you’d name the two-headed bobcat(s)? Did you ever post what name(s) you picked?

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  131. 131
    D. Draelynkhar

    I was certain at first you needed gloves knitted for an infant taxidermied wolverine (as I assumed you didn’t have a live infant wolverine since you have a child. And Cats) and was going to offer to make gloves for your infant wolverine if you would just trace around its paws with a pencil and piece of paper so I could get the dimensions right. I’m fairly sure actual sharp wolverine claws gloves for a human infant, who tend to flail around and hit themselves in the face from time to time are not a good idea. If you tell me they are actually for a gnome or something I will still offer to make the gloves.

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  132. My bank is small and local.
    Before I left for six months in Australia, I talked to the president of the bank and specifically discussed the fact that

    1) I will be in Australia. Therefore, just because a charge is coming from Australia, does not make it suspicious. Please do not cancel my card. I need to pay for stuff.

    2) I will be in Australia. Therefore, I will not be writing checks and I will not be making charges in the USA. Please flag my account so that any checks, including eChecks, and domestic charges, are all suspicious activity.

    Sure enough, after three weeks in Australia I’d had my account overdrafted twice even though I hadn’t used that card yet.

    I sicked my daddy on them. I try not to do this, because Dad’s kind of a brute force solution. But I was halfway around the world, and I can’t deny his effectiveness.

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  133. I discovered my credit union was declining all transactions taking place in NJ due to an ongoing fraud investigation–when I tried to use the card to buy produce. In NJ. Where I live. Which they knew since they’d been mailing statements there for several years. Thankfully the woman I spoke to was sensible and after a verifying my ID, etc, was able to get the hold lifted. (For the record-we were active military at the time and the credit union was located in another state, but still.)

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  134. My credit card was once cancelled due to suspicious activity because I hadn’t used it in a month. Thanks a lot Visa!

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  135. The bank refuses to believe there is an X in my last name and constantly cancels my card and reissues it with their own interpretation of the spelling which is highly annoying and probably indicative of harassment.

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  136. I told my bank to stop monitoring for weird purchases and they did. No more problem.

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  137. Careful with those wolverine claws around the cat waterbeds…😉

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  138. I once was a young silly person and signed up for a totally crazy mystery shopper ‘service’ that was supposed to get me work. (I know, I know…) Anyway, they wouldn’t let me cancel and I had to actually cancel my card to stop the charges, it was awful.

    But that’s the only time I’ve canceled a card besides the whole target fiasco. And that was just for safety.

    Thanks to the NSA we’re all exposed anyway. Take some cash and run for the hills!

    Well, this took a turn.

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  139. 139
    SqualorHouseGail

    I like my bank even better now! Only occasionally do I get a call to verify ‘suspicious’ charges. I second the idea of setting up a ‘little’ account somewhere else so you have an alternate debit card.

    Jenny, if you read this far down: Seeing your book on the same list with Hyperbole and a Half made me wonder if you keep in touch with Allie Brosh. Just wondering if all is well with her—she hasn’t posted in ages.

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  140. We have one card that gets canceled every time we buy a new MST3K DVD set. We own them all, so this has become a regular occurrence. And it’s always from the same vendor! Is Shout Factory a front for a meth lab or something?

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  141. It’s a good thing you clairified, ’cause I totally thought you were buying gloves for baby wolverines

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  142. You should definitely be looking for a new bank! A second on the suggestion for USAA if you qualify. Next best would be to find a bank that can a) call you about potential fraud AND b) can print a new card in their branch.

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  143. This post made me smile. Much needed in the Monday morning!🙂

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  144. 144
    heathdog McWolfin

    This has only happened to me once, and I too suspected my husband was secretly behind it.

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  145. Thank you. Made me feel more normal. I recently pulled my debit card out of my wallet while in the drive thru at McD’s, decided to wipe down the dashboard since they were taking so long and the next thing I know is my card has completely disappeared! I had to cancel my card cuz I lost it! At least you didn’t throw it out the window or lose it in the vents!

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  146. My bank doesn’t cancel my card all the time, but I am getting really tired of 15-minute embarrassing conversations with my bank while standing at the “cash register” (more like “credit decliner” these days) because my card is “declined” because I happen to be travelling. To the place to which I bought airline tickets with that very card.

    And by the way, the bank isn’t protecting you, they’re protecting themselves. You are not liable for fraudulent charges, they are. So all the hassle isn’t the least bit worthwhile for consumers. It’s the bank’s way of harrassing you to try to keep you from using your card at all. They want you to use your card once, max it out, then pay minimum payments for the rest of your life and never oay it off.

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  147. And by “oay” I mean “pay”.O_o

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  148. I’m on my sixth card this year. SIXTH! Dear bank – STOP! Oh and did I mention that my other card just demagnetized while I was on a business trip. Yeah, that was fun…

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  149. I am the 2AM purchase. I will make the bank tellers scratch their heads. I AM THE SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY ON MY ACCOUNT!

    Frequent statement in the Z House. ” Yes honey I know there’s a difference between need and want but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the crap out of it.”

    Also I agree with the Credit Union bit.

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  150. 1) no need to clarify on the wolverine gloves😉
    2) MY bank calls me first… but only when it’s me who’s made the purchases. When my card number has ACTUALLY been stolen (twice), I had to call THEM to cancel it. You’d think with all that they knew about me: whether I bought something with their card or not: that they would have thought it was the spain->spain airline flight that was funky… not the $1 iTunes purchase they were happy to acknowledge wasn’t me (it was).
    3) It’s totally victor.

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  151. Hmmm maybe consider writing checks and leaving really interesting notes in the memo fields, like “I swear I’m me and I just had to have this stuffed Giraffe head wearing a bowler hat”, or get cash from the ATM, or just use paypal for the instant bank transfer for when you decide you HAVE to have a jackalopoyote hooked up like a mule to a tiny cart towing stuffed penguins. Just sayin’…

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  152. Maybe you can use a prepaid credit card or Visa Gift Card for these kinds of purchases? Just a suggestion.🙂

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  153. Consider carrying cash? This idea may have already been posted, but I didn’t really want to read all your fan mail to chech. Now, if it was my fan mail…but clearly it’s not. Because I haven’t written the best selling list humor book that puts me in the Times Magazine!! Holy Cheese Balls! That’s incredible! Right up there with Bob Saget and Ellen DeGeneres – two seasoned comedians! Seriously, that is quite an accomplishment. CONGRATULATIONS,

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  154. You made my day!!! 😀

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  155. If you find baby wolverine gloves, please share the link. I am having our first daughter any day now (the sooner the better) and she might need them.

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  156. This has Victor written all over it.

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  157. To be fair, there are several credit card companies that:
    1. do not charge annual fees, I have a couple cards (one primary, one backup) and have never been charged a fee by either of them in my life
    2. only put a hold on my card until they find out if suspicious activity is fraud or not, and only cancel once they talk to me and confirm whether or not it’s needed.

    However, I am aware that neither of those lead you to having good stories for your blog, so continue on as you currently are.

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  158. We’ve send the bank a change of address when we moved to the UK. Then they blocked my card because I suddenly started making purchases in the UK.

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  159. You might want to consider doing more online purchases through paypal. That way, it’s just a paypal purchase listed on your debit card, and it won’t say “box full of cobras” or “taxidermied jack-a-corn” (if that doesn’t exist, it freaking should. Just saying). Might prevent a couple cancellations, though it won’t help your instore purchases

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  160. Whoops. My poll answer was in the minority. Fail.

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  161. I have to give it to Chase. They sent me an email saying “soon” they are going to be issuing me a new card, thanks to Home Depot. It’s funny, I only use my debit card in places where it never leaves my hand (ATMs, etc). In restaurants and places like that where I hand my card to someone else (which used to be the less safe way to do things), I use my credit card that has a $50 limit on fraud liability. Ironically, it’s my debit card that has been reissued now three times due to hacked chain stores. I’m beginning to think I have the this whole thing backwards.

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  162. I used to work for a bank reviewing all of the “suspicious activity” on people’s accounts. We didn’t auto cancel them though, we would just call and verify the activity with the cardholder. Which means, after a certain amount of time, shouldn’t they recognize that your odd activity is just normal?!

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  163. That is hysterical. You would think that they would have profiled you by now as a crazy lady who buys taxidermied animals and creepy dolls. Clearly, they need a better algorithm.

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  164. I’m one of those wise-asses, who still live in the last century. I go around all smug, telling everybody I haven’t got a mobile phone, a car or any plastic. It makes me feel good. Like snitching at school used to. Go on admit it to yourself, don’t you just hate me?

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  165. I forgot to add my latest post, I mean, that’s the only reason I comment here, don’t you? Bet you hate me even more now. You can hate me to bits when you click on my site.

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  166. Oo, is there any way at all you can make the same iPhone cover for a 5s?

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  167. Jenny, we got calls from the bank or cancellations when we first started buying BJDs from Korea. Then we switched banks and they stopped calling/cancelling. We weren’t sure if we should be relieved or feel neglected.

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  168. As an American living abroad my card sends my husband texts when it thinks we’re being robbed by credit card thieves with weird taste buds. Whenever we go somewhere new or just to the grocery store in Ireland where we live I have to buy random foods we don’t have in America like “Racoon Ranch” flavored potato crisps (chips) because who doesn’t want to find out if they really do taste like raccoon? Just an FYI, they do, but they don’t contain any raccoon so I’m puzzled especially since they don’t have raccoons in the country except for the one they found in Dublin that someone smuggled in as a pet but I doubt they’d eat that one. Anyways, when we went to Germany I bought a whole lot of chocolate and Crisco because they don’t have that in Ireland. The CC company was concerned so my husband got a text. He now knows when I go grocery shopping and what dinner might be like depending on whether the credit card texts him or not. I think they’ve finally figured out I’m weird because he hasn’t gotten anything in a bit.

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  169. Earlier this summer I had to call my CC company 9 times to get them to allow a charge through. NINE TIMES! At first, I was thankful that they were protecting me from fraud, but after the second call I got really annoyed and then I got really mad. They also kept telling me to redo the purchase and “it will go through this time.” Liars. I started calling and just asking for the top supervisor because I was about to go off on a lowly customer service rep for something he/she had no ability to correct. I literally would say that when they answered and asked how they could help. They ended up cancelling my card, closing the account, and moving me to a new account. Oh, then they approved 3 of the charges that they had previously denied so my card was beyond maxed out… Now I have a direct contact name that I am supposed to ask for whenever this happens.

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  170. I’ve never been put on hold or canceled and I purchase the wierdest stuff. Fluffy animal onsie from Japan, industrial amounts of cosplay supplies (wax, latex, plaster), and excessive ‘nerd gear’. I’m going to assume that the Canadian banks are too polite to call me on it😉

    Maybe I should try throwing in some cobras…

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  171. use credit for milk and gas keep a couple hundred on you for crazy – always pay cash for crazy- it makes it harder for your spouse to track as well

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  172. 172
    Shannon Kelly

    That almost happened to me once when I bought alcohol online from a store in Chicago (I live in NYC). To stop the process, I had to call a number to verify the last three purchases I made…which was really embarrassing as they were ALL at various liquor stores. I was all “I LIKE A GOOD COCKTAIL, OKAY CHASE?!?!”

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  173. These card companies use an algorithm to track purchasers’ spending habits. Sounds to me like they’ve got faulty algorithm. Based on YOUR spending habits, your card should only raise the red flag when you buy milk and bread.

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  174. That seems excessive. I have Chase, and they call/text when there is suspicious activity, instead of just straight-up canceling it. Much more user friendly.

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  175. If you put baby sized knife gloves on a baby, people are totally going to know the kid isn’t mini-wolverine. You need bone-claw gloves, because wolverine only had got metal claws after the adamantium was added… But either way I’m super hoping (for his mother’s sake) that his mutation was one of those that developed at puberty. Although puberty would be a super bad time to find you you had claws no matter what they’re made of…

    There’s probably never a good time to find that out.

    PS. I had no interest at all in Wolverine until they cast Hugh Jackman in the role. He’s yum.

    PPS. I may be a bit shallow.

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  176. I hate the First National Bank of Canceling My Shit. They are such hardasses!

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  177. My day job is in accounting and I see this annoying shit all the time. I’ve found it is often the smaller the bank, the more it happens without warning. Thus, I keep my personal accounts with a giant national bank, and they warn me first and replace the card by mail BEFORE they cut off the old one. (Like the whole Target thing last Christmas and now the Home Depot hack)

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  178. Like Jonathan Aul said on Facebook (and possibly also here), when I clicked in the “leave a reply” box, my info auto-filled. Since my blog is on blogger, I’m pretty sure I do NOT have a wordpress account. I could be wrong, though. I may have gotten one the first time I wanted to comment here, waaaaaaaaaay back in the day!

    So, um, I guess I’m no help. But as for your other questions, if you get yourself a free “account” at creditkarma.com or creditsesame.com, they’ll help you find a no-annual-fee and/or incredibly-low-interest credit card to use as a backup for all your weird shit purposes. For free, y’all. Jus’ sayin.

    Hope you find those baby Wolverine gloves.

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  179. This actually happens to me every time we go to Disneyland. Every. Single. Time. Luckily they just put a hold on it though and don’t cancel it. Because what says Happiest Place on Earth better than having no money when you get there?

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  180. I mean, define “suspicious.” What a bank might call suspicious, like adult-size diapers, Jack Daniels, mayo, the purchase of a star with Billy Idol’s name on it, and some lubricant made of live duck oil, I may just call “Saturday night.”

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  181. The amazing this is, when you said “infant sized Wolverine gloves” I assumed that you meant infant-sized gloves, such as would fit on the hands of a wolverine. I’m now picturing a stuffed wolverine wearing infant-sized elbow length ballroom gloves because she is SO FUCKING FANCY!

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  182. Good grief. That’s just ridiculous. My bank always calls me first if they see suspicious activity, so I can tell them if the purchase was legit or not. They’ll only cancel it if I tell them no I didn’t buy that, or if they can’t get ahold of me.

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  183. 183
    athleteatheart

    I thought you meant gloves for tiny wild wolverine paws…

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  184. 184
    Princess Judy

    I went to a craft convention and they cancelled my card half way through because of suspicious activity. After all $300 left my account to vendors from different states in about 10 minutes. I’ve since learned you can go to the bank and they will issue you a card on the spot and still send you the one in the mail. Then you can hold onto one and use the other. Then when they cancel the one you are using, you have the other one as back up.

    Anyway, my bank told me if I had signed up for text alerts they wouldn’t have just cancelled my card outright, but texted me first. I don’t have a cell phone and they weren’t willing to buy me one to alert me on… but you have one and you get texts, so I guess they were just blowing smoke.

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  185. 185
    firecracker panda

    As the uncomfortable sales clerk, I assure you that this happens frequently. Most people have a daily limit on their debit card that they are not even aware of; usually $500. Try to go over that, and the bank automatically suspends you. Also, if you try to drop a grand or so at a store you don’t shop at frequently, on the list you go. They are trying to be nice. Really.

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  186. They did this to me all the time when I moved from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, which was a 15 minute drive between the two states. For a while I lived in NH while I worked in MA and they kept holding my card because I was paying for lunch and gas in the next state. I apparently failed three questions they asked me, one of which was “how much is in your checking account right now?” I couldn’t remember off the top of my head so I took a wild guess from the day before. I was wrong by a whole 7 dollars and they still didn’t accept me. It was a process, for sure.

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  187. This is why they do that…Once when I was in the hospital and they were trying to keep my leg right under my knee where it belongs someone took my new Credit Card out of my mailbox and went from Seattle to Florida and had a grand old time to the tune of near four thousand dollars. I protested it was not me when I got the bill and the only thing that saved me was I had medical proof I was in the hospital all that the time they were charging up a storm and they were caught then while I was protesting….after every place they had been…a Wal Mart asked them for I.D. and their luck ran out and mine started. The only time I ever liked a Wal Mart.

    They also called me once on the phone right after that to see if I had just made a large purchase at Toys in Babeland…..I said I made a purchase..but it really wasn’t that large.

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  188. My family travels often and it seems that is when the account locks. Just awesome.

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    gem recently posted breaking the law sippy cup edition.

  189. Mine just got cancelled after a week out of state buying rocks. It was the oil change afterwards that set off the bank. They were like FUCK THAT NOISE can’t be Audra.

    On a different not I felt very Bloggess when I went to the pet shop and told them “I would like to purchase those two gently used Guinea Pigs please”

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  190. My hubby is a truck driver and uses debit card all over the US. I have lost count of how many times I’ve told the bank this. Ultimately, it made us change banks. Now we get frequent calls about suspicious activity and we need to return their call and reassure a computer that all of these purchases were really made by us. Still, getting 24-hour notice and a robotic conversation is better than being declined after a truck-stop meal has been ordered and consumed at 3am when there is no one at the bank’s customer service line to allow the transaction.

    Whatever you do, don’t cave to big brother and stop buying wolverine gloves and cobras. There’s not enough of that kind of awesome in this world.

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  191. I had this happen to me several times too. Apparently banks don’t understand the concept of a road trip so now I have to call them ahead of time every time I leave the state because they can’t see a trail of purchases going from my home town to another state and put 2 and 2 together on their own without getting 7.589001 as the answer and immediately thinking I broke the universe.

    And trying to buy a purple snake is ridiculous as it is, but having your card declined while doing so is just plain shitty.

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  192. “At this point I’m considering calling my bank every day with notes …”

    Yeah. Except that wouldn’t work. I used to live in Alaska, and every time I would travel either to Canada or to the Lower 48, my card would get canceled. So I did that thing you’re supposed to do where you call the bank ahead of time and TELL THEM that I’m leaving my igloo temporarily because they just don’t have Lou Malnati’s in Alaska. I even gave them specific dates and told them where I would be. Conveniently enough, I bought my plane tickets on that same credit card, so if someone in their employ actually knew how to audit shit, they might know that everything’s fine.

    Nope! Still canceled. Piece of shit. You just can’t win.

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  193. If I had a dollar for every time my card was cancelled for suspicious activity, I wouldn’t need a credit card anymore because I would have no less than ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Preach.

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  194. Maybe you should try my bank. They only call when there’s suspicious activity. Even when “I” empty my bank account from an ATM in Canada.
    Actually, probably would have been nice if they had done more than call me and ask how I managed to get from Georgia to Ontario in three minutes.

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  195. I called and threw a ghetto fit about a charge that showed up on my card (they hadn’t protected me), and as the lady spewed profuse apologies, I realized that SHIT…this was when I bought that bra that you fill up with beer. I strongly admonished them for their error and got the hell of the phone as fast as I could.

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  196. I misread ‘wigs’ as ‘wings’ and was like “ooh, when did she do a photoshoot of her cats with little cat wings and how did I miss that!?”, clicked on the link all excitedly and felt slightly cheated when I saw it was Hunter S. Thomcat in the wigs (resplendent though he is). I then googled ‘cat wings’ out of curiosity and found this http://nicholasspyer.com/2010/11/10/cat-with-wings/

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  197. I just got back from Costa Rica, and before I went I called my bank and my credit card company to let them know I was going so there would be charges from there… and the credit card company let me buy any ol thing I wanted there, except when I tried to go to a grocery store, which they promptly declined. Apparently, tourist kitsch and booze is fine, but attempting to buy a six pack of Diet Coke sets off all the alarms. Which if they looked at my charges here in the US, they would see the Diet Coke purchases make up the majority of my spending.

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  198. i voted “this has never happened to me.” but instead of “what is wrong with you?” i would like to amend it to “what is wrong with your bank?” i HAVE had my card canceled, but never before they spoke with me and alerted me to the suspicious activity and confirmed it really wasn’t me.

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  199. This is in regard to your really old posts about your rheumatoid arthritis pain. A few years ago I was diagnosed with atypical fibromyalgia, which just means I hurt all the time and they couldn’t find a reason for it. It was a kind of nerve pain, but it wasn’t rheumatoid arthritis. But that was one of the first things they thought it was. Anyway, I accidentally discovered that phentermine took the pain away. I only used 1/2 a pill daily, and after a couple years I was able to stop taking them. I realize you will probably always have RA, but hopefully phentermine would help when it flares up.

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  200. Two things.
    1. I work for a large bank and also have my card cancelled often.. The craziest thing I buy is groceries. I’m pretty sure they’re all like “WHAT!?! This obviously isn’t her; wine isn’t being purchased – decline!”
    2. It was Victor.

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  201. I thought you meant baby gloves, made out of wolverine skin. I don’t know if there would be a big demand for something like that. If I was going to buy fur baby gloves, I would go for the mink myself. Or, so that my baby didn’t get sprayed with paint by the PETA people, I might go for fake mink.

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  202. SqualorHouseGail : Allie Brosh recently appeared on Geek and Sundry’s Magic: The Gathering: Spellslingers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sGFq0Ym-Mo

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  203. I can barely type for laughing! Everyone gets a gold star here with this one.

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  204. lol. I have had this happen twice. Apparently buying gas twice in one day is considered suspicious activity and so is buying shoes, jewelry and make-up for your daughter’s grad. Of course there also was the time they caught the people using my card to buy electronics in the Phillipines, so that was probably a good call!

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  205. My credit card happily waved through the online payment for a custom carburetor billed to my old address and shipped to “me” in Tennessee (I had to fight it for months when I live in Seattle and I DON’T EVEN OWN A CAR), but will proudly decline the $4 purchases from the coffee shop IN MY BUILDING. So no, you are not alone.

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  206. i need to see a picture of the infant wolverine. does it have sideburns?

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  207. I didn’t realize that having your card randomly canceled was such a common thing. But I use one card that gives me additional Amazon points and only use it to buy stuff on Amazon, and then use my Capital One card for everything else. And I do mean everything. Because we use the points to buy stuff (like our flat-screen tv) or use the purchase eraser option to pay for travel charges, I use my card for all my expenses and then just pay it off every month. I’ve had them call me a couple of times about suspicious charges (but never cancel or suspend the card), and one time it was actually fraud. Not a large amount, but out of area, and they caught it.

    We’ve traveled overseas no problem. There have even been several occasions where my husband, who is an authorized user on the card since I had it before we met, has traveled outside the country without me and had no problems (I do always call them first to let them know.) I’ve been extremely happy with Capital One. They also have great customer service.

    Ironically, the reason I got a card with them was because years ago I was mugged. And at the time I happened to have a slip of paper with my mom’s Capital One card number on it in my wallet for something that she was paying for for me. So she called to cancel her card just to be safe. When I called to cancel my own cards, all the customer service folks were clearly “on script.” To a one, after canceling my card for me BECAUSE I HAD JUST BEEN MUGGED they told me to “Have a nice day.” Um, that’s probably not going to happen, what with having been mugged and all. The Capital One representative was the only one who expressed concern to my mom about my well-being and said they were sorry that happened to me. I’ve worked a lot of customer-service oriented jobs over the years putting myself through college and grad school, good customer service is really important to me. They gave good service, so I give them my business.

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  208. You need to change banks. My bank just sends a text saying, “was this you? WTH?”

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  209. I’ve had my credit card frozen before if I’m not where they think I should be (I don’t want to have to call them every time I go on vacation just so I can spend my own money) but they’ve never cancelled it. A quick call has always unfrozen the card. It’s strange that they jump straight to “cancel.” I think they’re out to get you.

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  210. I can’t even tell you through the laughter and the tears how much I love your blog. I don’t get my card cancelled, I get the really sweet sounding lady on the phone asking me if I really bought the “uhhh… ___________” and I’m quite sure there must be a note on my account that says, “known for strange buying activity” because the calls are less frequent these days. I have a great bank though, I bank with USAA and they’ve done a really great job.

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  211. You’re not alone, but it doesn’t happen to me very often. The last time it happened to me I was at a Walmart (yes, let the imaginary take hold of you) attempting to buy the last 48″ flat screen tv for my fiance’s Christmas present. I told him to go away so he didn’t see the “surprise” gift… and then my credit card got declined. And then it happened again. Meanwhile there were a school full of hungry piranhas swarming because they wanted the tv I couldn’t pay for. I had to call my fiance, have been pay for his own gift, and then yell at American Express because this purchases didn’t “match my spending habits.” It was Christmas, who the hell makes it a habit to buy large televisions throughout the year? I thought that was code for “You’re usually broke, we didn’t think you had it in you to buy him a nice gift.” Sorry, girl. Buy your cat wigs. Damn the man.

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  212. Paying with plastic is like playing Russian roulette……..If you pay with cash, the cashier looks at ya like you just printed up the money at your house the night before….if you write a check….people behind you pull out weapons…..if you steal? Well, that’s on up there with the jerks who got your debit card number in the first place……Solution? Let’s bring back the bartering system! Does anyone know who could use a good blogger? LOL….Happy shoppin’ to ya! t:)

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  213. 213
    SqualorHouseGail

    @Jivvy: Thank you SO MUCH for the Allie Brosh update!!

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  214. My husband had a brilliant suggestion. Get one of those reloadable credit/debit cards and put all your “unique” purchases on that. You are putting money on it, rather than using credit and paying interest. Then if it gets shut down, you all have your regular bank card. The downside is that will probably allow Victor to see just exactly how much you spend on cat wings and giant metal chickens.

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  215. 215
    Rachel CrazyMum

    I just read the cobra story for the first time, and I howled with laughter. And even though I am not into taxidermy, I was jealous because I genuinely thought the cobra was fighting a T-Rex, and I would have bought that. Your life brightens mine, even though mine is lovely and busy and all, and today I did a day’s worth of work with the kiddies before breakfast, but even so, you rock. Thank you.

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  216. Must be an American thing, because I’m a Belgian living in Spain and travelling World wide and ordering whatever I feel like on the worldwide web with either my Spanish or Belgian credit card and not once has my card been cancelled or retained. I don’t buy cobras, though, at the most snake print high heles.

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  217. I’m having a baby and a house built and every time I go to buy something for either scenario, the bank holds or cancels my card. I’m pretty damn sure that if someone suspicious was using my card, they wouldn’t be buying a cribs, chaise lounges, or pendant lamps. But I could be wrong…thieves could have become classy in the last few years and I would never know. So frustrating. Thanks but no thanks!

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  218. My bank recently called to ask me about suspicious activity. I told them the charges weren’t mine, so they cancelled my card and sent a new one. A week later, I checked my account, only to see that one of the fraudulent charges had gone through. Then, when I called the bank to find out why, they said “Oh, you have to file a fraudulent claim form before we can reverse that charge.” I was all “well, that would have been good to know when YOU called ME to tell me about fraudulent activity!” They weren’t too happy when I took almost half of my money out of that particular bank, telling them I wanted to put it somewhere it would be safe.

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  219. I hate to sound practical here, but is there some way you could contact the bank and ask them to “disable” the cancel-for-odd-purchases function? I worry about your credit. The whole system seems so Kafkaesque to me that I fear if anybody has any problem with it, it could never be corrected. The corporations are so powerful….

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  220. As someone who used to work in a bank, if “suspicious purchases” are your normal, they shouldn’t be canceling your card. I could see why a bank would do it if you had one purchase they deemed to be out of the ordinary, but when the out of the ordinary is ordinary for a customer then the bank should take note of that. You can also request that they stop canceling your card. They’re doing it now to cover their ass, but if you tell them not to cancel your card then you’re taking accountability for future charges.

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  221. I have to confess that after reading the first sentence, I thought to myself, ‘Well, that’s what she gets for buying hair at an airport.’ But I must say that I’m surprised your bank doesn’t recognize your spending habits yet.
    I just love your stuff. You are a highlight to my week.

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  222. Damn credit card companies are the real suspicious ones. Talk about the incompetent, unqualified and uncompromising nincompoops of the world.

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  223. 223
    Alison Metcalf

    If you have a Bank of America card, they are assholes about cancelling cards. Happens to us all the time for no reason. So if this is the case, maybe try another bank for your credit card?

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  224. I think the suspicious activity is actually the buying of milk and toilet paper. If you just kept buying weird stuff, they’d think it was perfectly normal after awhile. It’s also a great way to get Victor to do all the household shopping:).

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  225. My favorite reason this happened was because I spent too much money at Target and they thought surely it couldn’t be me. Little did they know that we got a bonus at work, so I went on a spending spree of two HUNDRED dollars. Seriously?! I am pretty certain that is not a lot of money, but maybe I am wrong.🙂

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  226. Before we moved the bank we used would cancel our card anytime a transaction was made that went through a foreign country or a foreign country originated website. It was a pain in the ass. Sometimes it did catch fraudulent activity, which I was grateful for but when it was me it was a giant mess. So I guess what I am trying to say is I feel your pain. It may be foreign transactions though… check your bank’s policies.

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  227. and they say that it’s not one of your normal expenses when you call about the cancelled card. Duh! It’d be way weirder if I were buying prom dresses from China every month instead of just once.

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  228. I thought you meant gloves for baby wolverines, like maybe they’re getting too cold at night. Or you had a taxidermy baby wolverine that needed winter clothes for the nativity scene this year.

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  229. I need another option. It has never happened to me,but I don’t think that means there’s something wrong with you. Give me the opportunity to not judge you,my love!

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  230. I have had my bank ring me up and ask me if I had just spent $765 on porn… Considering I don’t even have that much in the rest of my accounts, yes I really needed to have that much porn, and I wonder what $765 porn looks like… is it like designer gowns, and rich old men and lots of champagne or what???? People need to know these things!!!

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  231. They cancel your card because of unusual activity, but you’d think after a point they would realise that weird shit is not unusual for you, maybe leave a note on your file or something. That’s what I would do if I worked for a bank.

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  232. My bank didn’t bat an eyelid when I traveled to New Zealand, but Facebook warned me about suspicious activity on my account when someone tried to log in from Istanbul.

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  233. I just had that happen to me. My unusual purchases were Old Navy and Sam’s. I frequent both of them so I have no idea why the bank decided it was strange. They said they called me but the I have never heard of the number they tried calling so I didn’t discover the problem until I was at the grocery store with a basket full of food.

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  234. “Folds flat then pops open, surprising everybody.” That is an actual quote from the description of the Hulinky on Amazon. (Ok so it’s a Toroflex but I think Hulinky is better).Regardless, is the surprise part a required response? Cause I’m just not goona be.

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  235. Can you make some messenger bags of your stuff so I can ride my bike and show my love the bloggers? The backpacks slip

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  236. As the owner of a shop that comes up as “8 pounds uncut cocaine” on my credit card statement, i’m pretty sure the next time my bank decides to be “helpful” and cancel my card it will be upon my next purchase of one of your lovely merch. I don’t entirely mind the discussions with my banker though because they’re more curious than judgmental at this point. pretty sure its stuff like this that gives them something to talk about at the water cooler.

    Like

  237. 237
    Big Poppas Squat

    My checking account was drained of $3,000 by fraudulent charges and I didn’t find out until I went to cash a small check and they told me I didn’t have enough money to cover it. There were 25 consecutive charges for $5 apiece in Sweden. What would it take for them to declare unusual activity?

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  238. Random thing I learned this week. It’s considerably better to have an actual credit card than to use a debit card for purchases, fraudulent purchases are covered on credit cards and you can get them to go away. With bank cards that is not always true and you may be left on the hook (like I was for over $300 worth of purchases). Credit cards will also help your credit score when you pay them off and have better incentives in the long run.

    So maybe you should get another credit card specifically for weird purchases, or you could get a prepaid visa and go about it that way. Fill it, it use it, done.

    Like

  239. It seems to happen a lot to us also but our bank calls and warns us, which I greatly appreciate!

    Like

  240. I recently moved from slightly west of Philly to Chicago. My husband and I have AmEx cards because we love the rewards and he travels enough to make it truly worth the annual fees. In the past, when going on vacation, AmEx has decided one of our cards has been stolen and declines a charge or two until we can call and tell them that it’s just us on vacation. It’s not usually weird, or a big deal. However, this move from PA to IL has been something else.

    To kind of tell AmEx that it was really me with my card, I used it every time I gassed up the car or grabbed a bite to eat or a cheesy souvenir on the entire drive. No problems. We spent the night at a hotel in Lima, Ohio (I was very disappointed in the lack of show-stopping musical numbers during our stay), and I used my AmEx to order dinner from GrubHub. No problem. We get to Chicago, I order DOZENS of things online, including pizza. No problem. I try to order through GrubHub again, and it’s declined! Hmph. Hubby takes me shopping. Petsmart is no problem. Walmart, however, a place I have shopped AT LEAST once a week for 15 years (albeit in a different state), DECLINED. So, WTF, AmEx? I can buy cat food, but not shampoo or macaroni and cheese?

    So, no, you’re not alone. Hubby says if it was a credit card (and there are no-fee cards out there) instead of a debit card, they wouldn’t just cancel the card. It’s because it’s tied to actual cash. I hate it, too, but rewards points are a special kind of awesome. I have many Christmas presents my husband has gotten for me with rewards points. (Well, I pointed at the thing and said, “Get me that for Christmas,” but you know what I mean.) Rewards points totally rock.

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    Michelletj recently posted Pantophobia does not mean fear of pants.

  241. I thought it was just me, too! My shopping history isn’t quite as intriguing as yours, but my bank apparently believes I should never leave my county. And the bank is in this county. THEY KNOW THERE’S NOTHING TO DO HERE!

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  242. We are a military family, and every time we have to move ( 14 times in 10 years) our cards get canceled. It doesn’t matter if we call to give them a heads up or not. The worst part is a few years ago some freak got a hold of our credit card number and somehow manually entered it into the register to buy over $3000.00 worth of who knows what at a Walmart on the other side of the country, and they DIDNT bother canceling it then. Banks are Jerks.

    Like

  243. You are by far one of the funniest bloggers I have ever had the pleasure to stumble across. It must be exhausting to be this hilariously awesome. DON’T STOP BLOGGING EVER😀

    I hope the bank allowed the Wolverine gloves to go through😉

    Like

  244. This happens to me all the time. I’d say at least twice a year. My Victor insisted I get a credit card rather than a debit card for online purchases, because, let me see if I can remember his reasoned argument, “When you use a credit card you are much less liable than if you use your debit card and there’s a fraudulent charge.” My very reasoned argument back was that the designer bionic mouse I bought was NOT FRAUDULENT.

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  245. I got a paypal account to use for most of my ‘odd’ internet purchases. They’ll actually mail you a credit card that’ll debit your bank account. And they aren’t so judgy….
    Especially since I make a habit of buying LARGE quantities of toys from whatever country has them. Germany, Hong Kong.
    The only thing they aren’t so good at is recognizing 9-digit USA international zipcodes.
    Maybe that’ll help you get your next prairie dog riding a potbellied pig in a cowboy hat.

    Like

  246. Wut! The toroflux looks awesome. $20 in the USA but £67 with £15 shipping in the UK!! Dang it!

    Like

  247. We were just catching up on posts, and this was very timely for us. My wife just had the “pleasure” of shopping at Walmart for 3 hours (one of the few places we can actually find pants that fit, unfortunately) and then having both of her credit cards declined. Apparently 30min away from home is in a suspicious place. You know, because everyone has all their stores super close by. Yes, it was a large charge, but we only force ourselves to go through buying pants once every few years. So guess what we get to do today? Jerks.

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  248. I have to call my MasterCard company and let them know that I am going to buy things from China so they do not put a block on my card please and thank you. It is working well for us🙂

    Like

  249. Did anyone else think she meant gloves for baby wolverines?

    My card was “locked” once when I went to pay for gas. Apparently you shouldn’t charge $700 worth of catered food right before you go to the gas station or they will think you’re on some kind of strange binge and not let you have your money.

    Oh, and there was the time that Walmart wouldn’t sell me my groceries because the person behind the cash register doesn’t know what “verify signatures” means and I was pregnant and it was raining and now I haven’t shopped there in 4 years….but that’s a story for a different day.

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    AmberLynn Pappas recently posted Now What?.

  250. The company known as Find my Spanish Home is run by a local crook called Russell
    Lloyd who is hiding in Spain and is masquerdaing as a real estate
    company. The trick he uses is to take payments from buyers and steal their money.
    You have been warned.

    Like

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