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Washington Mutual Account Compromised January 19, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Personal.
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Ok, so maybe it wasn’t their fault but, boy they could have told me about it. Remember Monday when I said that I signed up to register lacadaz.com. Well that didn’t happen. The reason was that my debit card got denied. This struck me as pretty odd as my debit card never gets denied. This is not because I am so on top of my finances but rather my bank being so anxious to cover my overdrafts as fast as they can for a small $22 fee. I have purchased more than one $25 bagel in my life.

Well I shrugged it off. Maybe I had imputed a number wrong. Maybe their billing was screwy. I checked my account online and saw that I had a healthy balance. Healthier than I should I thought. Seems my rent check hasn’t gone through yet. Then last night my re-bill for my Backpack account was kicked back. Now I’m worried. So I call my bank. “Is my rent check in some sort of banking limbo unpaid but holding all my money?”

“No everything is fine. Your balance is good. No checks returned.”

“Then what’s going on with my debit card.”

“I’ll check for your.”

“Yes, your debit card has been cancelled”

“Oh.”

“Why?”

Then we proceed into the part of the conversation where she tells me that a merchant service has had their database compromised and that they cancelled all of the cards that were potentially affected. That sounds great to me. Except for the part where they hadn’t told me about it, hadn’t phoned me, mailed me a letter, sent me an email or even put up a message to me in their little internal email system with their online banking. Her response was that they were sending out replacement cards that should arrive by next Wednesday. And that when these things happen. (made it sound like it really isn’t all that uncommon) it’s usually thousands of cards.

Listen I’m glad that they are on top of this security issue. I would have hated to prove that I hadn’t made a bunch of fraudulent charges. And frankly it worked out ok, I have since realized that I’m pretty happy with WordPress.com and I wasn’t using the extra space in Backpack anyhow. But the thing is, I have direct deposit and an ATM card. I’ve only been to the bank once since I moved to the city. It’s not convenient to where I live and work. And I feed myself with my debit card. Like all my food is derived from that one piece of plastic. This is a big inconvenience for me. Somebody should have at least let me know that this was going on.

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