By George Capsis
“This is the Chase Bank and we have reason to believe that someone has acquired your bank account number and is attempting to charge against it.”
Oh, wow, this is the second time this has happened to me and I froze—how much did they take and thought this is going to be a mess.
But I was still talking to a computer and while artificial intelligence has made great strides, I still prefer talking to a humanoid even if it is a high school dropout. And one finally came on and began to read off recent attempts to charge against my account with the request that I confirm or deny if the charges were mine or the thief’s. At last they came to one of mine with the recommendation that I close my account and open a new one. And she was ready to do just that, but from the fear that this young lady was part of the international conspiracy, I said I preferred going to the bank to do it…
After five decades of doing business at Chase, I know all the young bank officers and they know me, so when I recounted my call, my nice Chase man received the information with professional equanimity and deftly closed and opened my account and offered that I would receive my new credit card tomorrow by FedEx and to please sign for it (FedEx dropped it in the vestibule where Tim found it and brought it in).
But I was not finished. I offered to my nice Chase man that I was going to write this up for WestView and would he supply me with all of the exotic attempts to steal from my account. He said, ”No, we are not allowed to do that,” and I followed with, “Why not, suppose I recorded the call,” and he offered a smile reserved for the senile exhibiting the first signs of infantilism, “You couldn’t do that, it is illegal,” and when I persisted he got up to ask the manager who said she would “escalate the request.”
Days later, I got a call from Robert in Texas from what I suppose is the Chase Escalation Center, who had to make sure he was talking to the real George Capsis, and asked for identification before he would continue the conversation, which soon drifted into silliness (his job was to politely say nothing). And after some pressure, he offered that since this was a credit card, I had to talk to the Credit Card Escalation Center and somebody would call me in two business days (they did not).
Yesterday (August 17th), I went in to do some bank business and as chance would have it I got my same man, who after we finished said, “Did you get the names? Janet got them and tried calling you several times but you were not in.”
He retrieved a hand-written note with the list of attempted thefts:
1.CO/Computer Network $10.15: Declined.
2. Apple Online Store $1.00: Declined.
3. Tokyo Disney $645.57: Declined.
I can imagine the face on that Tokyo poppa when he tried to pay the Disney Hotel bill with my credit card only to have it declined.
Electronic crime is becoming so easy. But for the worst of it, nobody gets caught and nobody is punished—and it will get worse, far worse.