Grocery shopping is supposed to be relatively quick and painless. In this case it was neither.
First, I have no transportation so each time I need to go to the grocery store I either need to cadge a ride from a friend or take the bus. Coming home with huge bags of groceries –and walking 5-10 minutes from the bus stop across the street from my house–makes me feel like a old out-of-shape pack mule.
It’s inconvenient too to carry my purse as well as the shopping bags, so I have gotten in the habit of dumping what I need (most often I need my bus pass, PayPal debit card, Wells Fargo debit card, Oregon Trail food stamp card, Oregon drivers’ license, and Safeway Club discount card) into the bottom of one of my shopping bags.
I’ve never had any problems when doing this until yesterday. Yesterday I had the bus pass in one pocket and my Wells Fargo debit card, Oregon Trail food stamp card, and Safeway Club discount card in my other pocket; my drivers license and the PayPal debit card were still in the bottom of the bag.
The checker asked me when she opened my bag to start putting groceries into it if I needed my drivers license (in retrospect, I find it suspicious that she only mentioned the drivers license!) and of course I said no.
Tuesday July 5 I needed to renew and transfer one of my domains from Bulk Register to Go Daddy. Bulk Register charges $19.95 per year and Go Daddy charged $7.67 to transfer (and extend for a year free).
I paid Go Daddy with the PayPal debit card since I am doing my level best to leave the Wells Fargo checking account alone or at least not to hit it with online activities.
The payment to Go Daddy was the only time I had actually physically used my PayPal debit card since June 23 (I’d purchased dinner at Safeway on that date). The other activities on the PayPal account were transfers from my free PayPal account and an automatic monthly payment to a traffic exchange that I upgraded at; neither of these activities required use of the card.
Yesterday I came home from shopping and had a message from PayPal on my answering machine regarding the activity on the account. I failed to write down the phone number which turned out to be a bad idea as we had a 2 hour power outage last night which caused everything on my answering machine to be completely wiped out.
I was also irritated thinking that PayPal was playing God with MY money.
I noticed this morning (July 6) that the payment to Go Daddy was still pending and got all irritated with PayPal so I called them.
They wanted to confirm the last 4 transactions on the account.
1) an automatic payment to Bulk Register which I had authorized 11 months ago; I didn’t want that payment to go through as I was transferring the domain in question to Go Daddy
2) the payment to Go Daddy which I had initiated and did want to go through ASAP
3) $2.10 to Redbox (http://www.redbox.com/) which I hadn’t made. I don’t have a working DVD player so why would I be renting DVDs?
4) $213.69 to Sears Roebuck. I don’t shop at Sears after what they did to me regarding a few job applications (http://www.i-dont-think-so.com/?p=81 and http://www.i-dont-think-so.com/?p=468. Furthermore, even if I did shop at Sears its 4.53 miles one way to the nearest Sears store from my house (and as stated above, I still don’t have transportation other than shanks mare –walking–or the bus). Besides that, I had a whopping $22.32 in the account at the time.
My card has been closed. I tried to apply for another one and they declined it (after several tries because it wouldn’t recognize my back up debit card from Wells Fargo–thats one of the ways PayPal checks out that you are who you say you are) but I was on the phone with PayPal debit card customer service at the time, and they said they would manually approve it given the situation.
I am impressed that PayPal was on the ball in determining that I probably had not initiated transactions #3 and #4 above. My irritation with them ‘playing God about how I spend my money’ melted totally away once I realized what had happened.
I logged into my Go Daddy account after all this developed. Go Daddy pages are encrypted once you access your account information.
There is no way that anyone at Go Daddy did this; as soon as you navigate to your account you are on a secure page (https not http) which means that nobody could have accessed that information without being here watching me enter it (somehow I think if the resident cats did this the fraudulent charges would be at PetCo or PetSmart, not Sears and RedBox!)and nobody lives with me or has any access to that card.
Yes I will be talking to the store manager at Safeway about this situation. The checker is the only person who had access to the card and again its highly suspicious that she asked only about my drivers license not the debit card (which isn’t marked anywhere that its a debit card). Today was garbage day so the receipt is already gone but unfortunately for the thief, none of what I bought was paid for with cash ($61.68 on the food stamp card, $3.49 on the Wells Fargo debit card).
It turned out that I had not thrown the receipt away (funnily enough it was in the kitchen sink ROFL!!). I went to Safeway today after my doctor appointment but the store manager had just gone to lunch. I called him when I got home; he asked for the information on the receipt but couldn’t find the transaction on the surveillance tape so I will be taking the receipt to him on Monday. He also said that I should file a police report.
You know, you’re really have to be on your toes.
Similar thing (not as bad though) happened to us yesterday.
There was a promotion going, if you shop for over 800 Czech Crowns, you’ll be able to fuel up with a discount of 2 Crowns per liter.
So, we shopped for about 1000 Crowns and got the coupon, went to fuel up. Needed about 15 liters only, but still, you figure, it’s a discount and you need fuel anyways as well.
As we went to the counter to pay, the teller must have seen the German number plates and figured, let’s try to rip them off. With all the discount etc., she kept 50 Crowns of change for herself and we only noticed that later. So – saved 30 Crowns, got ripped of for 50 Crowns – paid 20 Crowns more in the end now for fueling up with a coupon LOL! They try it… and most likely succeed… 🙁
I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.