Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Years ago I was flying to LA. It was an early morning flight and I was traveling with my wife and young son.
It was the first week of September 2001 and I remember going out to Newark Airport to get the first flight of the day and cruising through security because all of the guards there seemed half asleep. I remember joking with my wife that if you ever wanted to try to smuggle drugs, all you needed was a baby. We walked through the metal detectors, pushing our sleeping son in his stroller. They waved us right through, waving the magic wand over the stroller..."Keep Moving." Anyway, I am not saying that I was ahead of the curve by any standards. I handled any of these insights with about as much attention to detail as the Bush Administration was doing at that exact same moment.
Ignoring the possible dangers, who cares....we were off for a vacation. But one week to the day on the same exact flight, we all know what happened.
This week when I was dealing with all of this crap with my identity theft, a bunch of really strange things happened that make me wonder about this too. I was "lucky" enough to be aware that someone was trying to use my account at the exact moment that it was happening.I happened to stumble upon the messages from Paypal of transactions, before they were deleted by whom ever it was that was making them.
I phoned Paypal and eventually got someone to listen to me. But what ever they said they did, the next day I had more problems... I finally got through again and after yelling and screaming they finally, finally spoke to someone who was a supervisor and he "froze " my account.
I had the same problem with my bank. I called them immediately and thought everything was cool. I went to the branch the next morning and closed my account and the branch manager also made a call to make sure that the calls against my account weren't paid. I went back yesterday-Tuesday- and the manager and I looked at the computer, and the bank was about to pay the demands for money. They were about to pay those clowns in Saudi Arabia who were ripping me off and had I showed up just a bit later (after 10am), they would have paid them. Well, let's just say it wouldn't have been MY money at this point, but luckily we put a stop to that too. Once again I sense that people whose job it is to be protecting the assets of this great nation are asleep at the wheel. While some crackpots in the Middle East are doing something awful.
I called the Federal Trade Commission about this and was on hold until I sincerely thought about giving up. When I finally spoke to someone and got a familiar lazy response. They did nothing.
My point is this...I had caught this stuff going on right while it was happening and if it weren't for my own vigilance, forget it. Those clowns would have been counting my money before anyone here was even awake enough to do anything. Luckily for me I have way too much time on my hands to be poking around in my own business. I did get certain amount of satisfaction for helping to uncover a crime while it was happening. I felt a certain rush as I was playing detective doing the end-arounds to save my pathetic savings. I was so pleased with myself as I was humming the James Bond theme while I was creating brand new secret PIN numbers for all of my my accounts- using the names old cats that I have owned over the years so I wouldn't forget... Do-do-DO-DO Do.Do.. While typing Whitey or Freckles onto my key board. I'm a regular Inspector Clouseau over here, fighting terror in my own special way. DK