Citibank fraud FAIL update

Citibank fraud FAIL update

Well, kids, it’s been an interesting couple of days. (don’t know what I’m talking about? start here!) Before I get into the story update, there are a couple things that I’ve learned:

  • My supremely awesome brother sent me a task list of things to do after you’ve been a victim of fraud, and there’s a similar list provided by the FTC. Check it out– very, very helpful.
  • On the preventative side of things, I’ve learned:
    • from a woman at Citibank: don’t put your address on your checks. I’m not sure why, but it’s better.
    • from my brother: schedule getting your annual free credit reports throughout the year — i.e., Experian in January, TransUnion in April, and Equifax in October.

Okay, now for the update. I went back to Citibank in Park Slope earlier today, and since there was no one at the little info desk, the security guard had me sit in a row of seats to wait for someone to be free to help me. After a few minutes, a woman who worked there walked by and asked, “Are you being helped?”

Funny she she pose the question that way, eh? “Why, no,” I replied. “No, I’m not being helped at all.”

She asked me what I needed, and when I replied that I was there for an affadavit for a fraudulent check, her eyes got wide and she said, “God, what happened?” Which made me dump out the whole story from Tuesday. The look of shock increased as the story went on, till finally she stopped me and said, “Oh my God. I am so sorry, that should not have happened to you. Come into one of the private offices and we’ll get everything taken care of right away.”

A team of three women– for the record: Ruth, Rose and Roseann, I kid you not — sprung into action. They found that another check for ~$5k was attempting to be cashed, and because Sparky the “Customer Service” Rep didn’t help me on Tuesday, it was bouncing everything out all over again. More apologies, but they also found that someone’s gone into a Citibank branch elsewhere and made a small deposit, presumably to see if the account was still open. Can I tell you the relief I felt to see people actually caring and trying to find out what was happening to my money?

Anyhoo, we squared away a bunch of stuff together, and I got the affadavits for the police reports. However, I have to wait till tomorrow now to file the police report, because I won’t have a copy of the new fraudulent check until 7am.

But wait, there’s more! Later in the day — literally right after I’d purchased a new paper shredder at Staples — I got a call from a representative of Wachovia, asking me if I was writing some big checks. Turns out that since the first one bounced, and a second one from me was coming in, Wachovia already suspected fraud and got on the ball. The woman (whose identity I verified, yes) was extremely helpful and gave me the names and addresses of the people that deposited the fraudulent checks. She doesn’t think, from her experience, that they’re the perps, but rather that they’re the victim of some sort of scam operation. Wild stuff. She’s down with helping the police investigate, and I’m taking all this info with me tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have to say that while this doesn’t compare with some of the BS that I dealt with and violation I felt after getting mugged (ah, Christine, could anything have bonded us tighter? Really?), it’s, um, getting to be right up there. It’s also completely physically taxing in an unexpected way — my body has been demanding about 10 hours of sleep per day since this all started. Apologies to clients who are reading this and wondering where the hell I’ve been, too — the bureaucratic nightmare is taking up a ton of bandwidth.

More tomorrow after I’ve visited with my (hopefully) friendly neighborhood police officers. Wish me luck.