Wachovia Bank / fraud and scam
I called Wachovia to prevent fraud on my account and received no help from them, only a guarantee that they intended to honor the fraudulent charges (even reading a memo stating that Shopping Essentials was legitimate and that customer requests to prevent charges were to be ignored).
I received an email from a defrauding company Shopping Essentials, stating their intention to charge me a recurring charge. I was frightened, because they had my NAME and correct email address! I do NOT respond to unsolicited email. I do NOT click on any links. I delete all spam. I have never done business with Shopping Essentials, nor had I authorized any charges to them, but I do do much business on the internet. I am pretty savvy and do my best to avoid any internet fraud. I called Wachovia Bank to block charges from this company.
In the past, Wachovia's Fraud Department has demonstrated pretensions of being active, calling me in a panic when I have had $11 charges at my usual Publix, and when I have my regular, monthly appointment with my physical therapist, so I have had some misplaced sense that they might be sensitive to a report of fraud before the fact. Further research shows me that Wachovia has had class action suits against them for this sort of fraud, which makes me need to be extremely pro-active.
I called Wachovia to fend off this charge in advance. Instead, the first service rep read me a Wachovia Memo, telling me that they communicate with Shopping Essentials, and that I must have clicked on something on the internet which gave Shopping Essentials the right to use my account. They told me that Shopping Essentials is a legitimate company. And that Wachovia would honor all charges to Shopping Essentials unless I closed my card and opened a new card.
We all know that closing a credit card or bank account CAUSES BAD CREDIT and I have an 'excellent' rating right now. Further, I am about to renegotiate my mortgage -- which will require my present high credit rating.
I asked for a supervisor.
The supervisor, confirmed all the CSR had said. She instructed me (according the Wachovia memo) to call Shopping Essentials and cancel the fraudulent charges. She gave me a new telephone number (which wasn't open). And told me to respond to the email and try to cancel it from there (despite all my training and alertness to never respond to fraudulent email!).
She told me that I must get the account / card to which Shopping Essentials planned to charge me before Wachovia would do anything. This would require me to contact the company to ask them what account they planned to use to defraud me.
Everything she told me was against my training and protocol to prevent fraud, and seemed to encourage more fraud. But this was her instruction, handed down from Wachovia Corporate -- despite their prior experiences with Class Action suit won against them for what seems like similar problems.
Despite my reluctance to call the company or to click on any email, I felt I needed to follow her instructions, because I was powerless and it was clear that Wachovia's so-called fraud protection was useless. The supervisor made it clear that they would NOT protect me, that they would compromise my credit rating, and there was nothing I could do through them to protect myself. It also seemed that they were complicit in an arrangement with Shopping Essentials.
Cut off at the knees by Wachovia, (so much for their fraud department which seems to be a sham) I have contacted Shopping Essentials, with great trepidation. I clicked on their information wondering what other fraud was being spawned by my responding with legitimate information.
They had all sorts of information on me, but NOT my telephone number. I did cancel online. However, this does NOT feel legitimate. I fear the upspring of all sorts of possible internet fraud from now on. Where did they get this information? When I joined CostCo? When I bought from Sears? According to Shopping Essentials, the account they fraudulently opened in my name, is now closed. But how can I trust a company that perpetrates fraud in the first place? Who are they selling my information to? What can I do to protect myself in the future, now that I am compromised?
What internet sites should I now report to in order to protect my credit?
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