Where is Robin Hood when we need him? Our daily news is over run with the debate regarding the necessity of governmental monitoring of one thing or another. Why is it we never see the topic of discussion addressing financial institutions? By financial instituions I mean banks. I am one of the millions who trusted my bank, viewed my statement on line every day, pay bills on line, and purchased goods on line as well. I was doing my part to aid our economy believe me.
One day just before Thanksgiving 2007, while reviewing my statement online, I notice pending charges in excess of $149 from a transaction I did not make. So I call the telephone number attached to the transaction and inquire. After a brief conversation with an operator from a company I'd never heard of, I explained to the gentleman how he had just stolen money from the wrong person and he needed to contact his superior and have the funds reversed. And, he needed to take care of it prior to my contacting my banks legal department, which was the next phone call I was going to make.
I felt somewhat confident in my bank coming to my aid as I was contacting someone prior to the transaction completion as well as providing them with the information I obtained through my investigations.
The response I received was shocking to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I did receive their empathy, but that's all I received. Oh sure, they were willing to issue a stop payment against the charges, along with a $35 fee to me. And, that didn't really guarantee they could issue it in time. Then I was informed I could always take my chances because some times charges of "this nature" sometimes just "fall off" and never charge against the account. No such luck for me. This did charge against my account and forced legetimate transactions into over draft or NSF status, of which I had to pay.
I was forced to go to the bank branch, fill out the paper work to get my money back, try to prove a time-line in which the bank deducted the fees so I could re-gain some of my lost funds. I then had to back track to the merchants I wrote checks to and hope they didn't charge me a returned check fee. I did end up paying for one because Comerica refused to accept the responsibility.
Our banking institutions are simply too protected by legal loop-holes so it's no wonder there is such a high rate of identity theft.
Companies are getting rich off societies fear of having, of all things their identity stolen! I like looking at myself in the mirror every morning knowing I have an idea of what it means to have integrity and humanity. It was a sad day when it was discovered how one human being could cheat another to advance themselves.
The only statement I have left to say is I hope those of you participating in these activities find your way out soon because you are not as smart as you think. We are on to you and we are wise beyond what you can comprehend. We have learned to move on and find strength in something greater than you or anything you have done.