So Sunday morning around 6:30 AM, I was peacefully dozing in bed. It was that type of sleep that Sundays are made for - you’re not tired enough to fully fall back to sleep but your just lazy enough to not get out of bed quite yet. Andy was just getting out of bed because he’s English, and a Liverpool Football supporter, which means that once every weekend he will get up at some God forsaken ass-crack in the morning time to watch the Liverpool match live. Sometimes the night before a match I will lovingly say to Andy, “wake me up, I’ll watch the game with you” but when the morning comes I always groan and tell him I’m too tired and please bring breakfast when he heads on home. Most of the time (if it’s after 6 AM), the minute I hear the door shut behind him, I get up anyways as I will have realized that I’m hungry or have to go to the bathroom or wouldn’t a cigarette be good right about now or since he’s gone I should watch ‘Private Practice’ or “What was that noise? Was that the cat? I better check.” This Sunday was one of those Sundays and at 6:45 AM I was shuffling downstairs to put on the kettle and booting up my computer lest something fantastically interesting happened to one of my 166 Facebook friends overnight.
A cup of tea and a quick Facebook assessment later, I was already thinking to myself that I should go back to bed but I was up, dammit, and might as well check my email accounts (yes, that is plural – don’t ask).
When I got around to logging into Hotmail, I noticed that I had a whole bunch of iTunes receipts sitting in there. I thought that was odd since the last thing I bought from iTunes was the new Gorillaz album ‘Plastic Beach’ (not entirely a bad album though I still prefer their earlier stuff) over two weeks ago. I opened up one of these receipts to see that it was for $42 worth of iPad applications. I don’t own an iPad and I have no intentions of owning an iPad as feminine product sounding name besides, I have a tendency to drop things that are relatively expensive and therefore keep all my high end electronics safely on a stable flat surface. The receipt for these iPad applications was disturbing, as well as the 8 other receipts for similar purchases that I kept opening. I say ‘disturbing’ when really I mean I was ‘freaking the fuck out’.
Steve Jobs: "Look what I made!"
A quick check to my bank account confirmed what I was desperately afraid of. My checking account was not only wiped out of funds, but so was my savings account (due to having set up overdraft insurance) and a bunch of hefty overdraft charges tacked on to boot. As it was only iTunes purchases to blame, one can’t say that my identity was stolen completely, but more that my iTunes account was – but it was enough to do damage. All in all, Mr. Fuckhead (well, what would you call him?) bought $400 in apps and put my account in a -$177.42 deficit. Asshole.
I’ve never had my identity or some part of it anyhow, stolen before. I was honestly under the belief that because my credit was so bad and my banking account so pathetically lacking in funds at any given time that I was immune. Well, I’m not that thick, I didn’t think I was immune but I certainly thought the likelihood of me getting hit was really low.
I ended up calling up Andy in a panic. I simply didn’t know what to do. Andy kept a level head about it (though it may be he wasn’t quite awake yet and that’s the only type of head he could muster) and let me know the plan of action….which was to call my bank first, which is what I did. I want to give Wells Fargo props right now for not only handling the situation with ease and grace but also for not making me feel like a criminal (“Are you sure those aren’t your charges?”). Within 15 minutes my card was cancelled and an investigation was put in motion. I should have a “loan” of the funds in 2 -4 business days. Thank you Wells Fargo.
Apple was another story. I would figure Apple would be very keen on getting down to the matter. For one, they can track exactly which computer in the world downloaded those apps. They also have the power to stop the applications from downloading (Mr. Fuckhead failed to completely download 16 of the gazillon applications he bought). Did Apple do that? No, of course not. Did Apple even care that this had happened? Nope, not even slightly. The Apple representative that I spoke to was oh so very helpful with her, “You can’t report that here. You have to fill out an email on the Apple website and someone will get back to you in 24 hours.” When someone from Apple got back to me (via email) they gave me the oh so very helpful tips to change my iTunes password and disable the credit card within iTunes – LIKE I HADN’T ALREADY DONE THAT THE MINUTE I SAW THE BOGUS CHARGES – and that they were sure my bank would sort it out. Thanks Apple. By the way, your iPad is really fucking lame and has a really stupid name.
And that’s that. Thankfully I do have a credit card to use until this gets all sorted. I will have to admit that through all of this I kind of giggled on the inside anytime the bank said, “Your identity has been compromised” like I was James Bond or something. I fully expected my compromised Debit card to blow up after I received the message.
UPDATE 04/15/2010: From Monday to Wednesday, my checking account slowly crept to -499.00 due to Wells Fargo applying 9 separate overdraft charges to my account. There was also some misunderstanding about the form I had to send back to them. As of right now, Wells Fargo has my filled out fraud form and has taken off the overdraft charges. They have not yet reimbursed me (or given me a "loan") for the fraud items. Well, at least it's something...