Wickedly Bad & Awful

The Great Amalah Caper

So I remember what I was planning to write about yesterday, instead of writing that horrific train wreck of an entry that I posted instead.

And I cannot BELIEVE I forgot about it. This is something that happened LAST Friday, and I'm horrified that I did not rush right on over to TypePad.com to spew righteous indignation all over the place. Suspicions that I am a total comment whore when it comes to sappy, lovey-type posts have been confirmed.

Y'all, someone in Pensacola, Florida used my credit card to spend $1,900 at an Office Depot last week.

Nine. Teen. Hun. Dred. Doll. Ars.


Did I mention that this transaction took place in Florida? Last week? When I was not in Florida, not even in the general vicinity?

Did I mention that they spent nineteen hundred motherfucking dollars?

So. What did I DO when I saw this transaction on my lovely little online statement, since I waited an entire week to throw an online tantrum about it? (And oh, Jason totally found it first, because I never check my lovely little online statement, because I? Am a CHILD.)

Well, the first thing I did was what any level-headed person would do. I sent an email to everyone in the Judith Light Brigade. An email that went something like, "OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD SOME JACKASS MOTHERFUCKER STOLE MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER AND SPENT NINETEEN HUNDRED MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS AT OFFICE DEPOT IN FLORIDA WHERE I WAS NOT AND OH MY GOD."

After that, I calmly checked my wallet to make sure that my credit card was indeed, still there. And it was. As was Jason's. (In his wallet, not mine, because that would be weird, like I give him an allowance or something, even though he makes approximately a bazillion dollars more than me.)

(A bazillion is probably an exaggeration, but like I said, I don't really know much about the whole "money" thing, except for what I keep in my piggy bank until I save up enough to buy a My Little Pony.)

Anyway. Both cards in our posession. Check. Both of us not in or near Florida. Check.

So I called Capital One, praying to the Lord in heaven that they were just as good about the fraud protection as they claim to be in their super-annoying commercials.

Phone: Ring ring.

Amy: Oh my god, please, not ringing nearly fast enough.

Phone: Welcome to Capital One, please enter your card number and don't fuck it up or else we will promptly hang up on you!

Amy: Ok, 5, 4, 9, oh wait, shit.

Phone: Invalid! Goodbye.

Amy: *censored*

Phone: Ring ring, etc.  Welcome STORCH, AMY. Please stay quiet while our friendly computer tells you your balance, your remaining credit (hint: zero!), and also your payment history back to that one time you sent your payment in seven hours late.


Phone: If you would like to make a payment, press one. If you would like to send us more money just for the hell of it, press two. If you would like to report fraud, you dirty lying liar, press three.

Amy: 33333333333333333333333333333333333

Phone: Hello, this is the Department o' Fraud and Bad Things, how may I help you?

Amy: ohmygodthereisachargefromfloridafor$1900thatisnotmeandwe

Phone: Oh yes, I see that. Dayum. That sucks ass. Please hold.

Amy: wah.

Phone: easy soft jazz soothing tunes of blandness

Amy: wah. WAH!

Phone: Okay, I'm back, but I'm not someone who can help you. Please hold.

Amy: O-

Phone: elevator music of easy peace love blah

Phone: Hello, Ms. Storch, if that IS your real name.

Amy: Hi, please be nice because I am freaking out muchly.

Phone: So, here's the thing: our system shows that your card was present at the time of this transaction and it wasn't online and that it was in the store. LIKE YOUR CARD WAS.

Amy: *shock*

Phone: Do you have your card?

Amy: incoherant blathering but basically, yes, we both have our cards so that is NOT possible

Phone: Perhaps Office Depot always has their credit card payments processed in Pensacola, because that is SO LIKELY.

Amy: I haven't BEEN to an Office Depot. Anywhere.

Phone: Suuuure. You didn't buy a computer or something that has totally slipped your mind until now?


Phone: Okay FINE. I will turn this over to our Fraud Department of Invesigations and Maybe Payback and Broken Kneecaps. Cut up your card into wee pieces and I will send you a new one, eventually.

Amy: Also? The $1,900?

Phone: Poof. Gone. Don't worry about it. But um, you know, pay the rest of your bill please, because DAMN you spend a lot of fucking money at PetSmart.

Amy: *weeping* Thank you.

Phone: Thank you for using Capital One! But you suck for paying off your entire damn bill every month so we can never charge you interest! Freeloading air mileage whore! *click*

So anyway. We don't have to pay the $1,900. We got a form from them that we have to formally fill out and tell our story of confusion and wrongness. I also looked up "Office Depot, store #202" that the transaction happened at and yes, it is indeed in Pensacola, Florida. So no chance of some weirdly routed card processing. It was not us, the card was a fake or possibly an "order online, pick up at the store" transaction gone awry.

No idea who or how or why or what. But Capital One has been pretty nice about it. Except that I'm still waiting for my new card and they better fucking remember that I chose the design with the pretty hammock and beach scene and not send some other boring design, like with a globe or something.

The end! Maybe. I hope. Please be the end!



I know we've had some looters hanging around the state lately. But them buttholes had POWER. If you're a hacker that loots are you a hooter? A lacker?

Glad you don't have to pay $1900. But, um, Ivan is on it's way here and I'm almost out of beer money. Care to Western Union me some?



I can't believe that actually happened to you! And some jerk out there is enjoying some brand-ass-new computer for free! Jackass!

p.s. u r funnee.

Fraulein N

Oh, shit. Am I the only one suspecting that someone who WORKS at Capitol One pulled some sneaky shit? Because otherwise, how the hell? I happen to know that they are liars. Stupid liars who keep sending me offers even though I have their card. Glad they're not holding you liable.

your adoring handmaiden for ever and ever

Freeloading air mileage whore! MWAhahahahahaha! You kill me.


Bwahahah! ROFL!
BTW: I am happy to see that you are off the hook for the mega bucks.


Gah! Gah! Gah!

I once worked for Bed, Bath & Beelzebub, and I caught some fraudmeisters who had been STEALING broken shit out of our trash and returning it without a receipt for YEARS. The little give-yo-name thing? pulled up about $5000 in retuned fraud. And SOME of the mostly Kansas City area returns were in FLORIDA. We figured we paid for their Florida vacation and THEN they still returned stolen garbage shit on their vacation.

Some people have NO qualms about theft. They don't care.

Theiving bastards.

But what I don't get is how $5000 in returns on this great take-the-name-down system didn't raise a red flag. Why have the system then? "Oh hey, look at how much THESE people screwed us for!" We had been spray painting big flourecsent orange x's on our damaged crap before throwing it out, too. There's another tip off.

But whenever I do a return for like $10 or less and they want my name? Screw that. I kindly refuse. They have bigger fish to fry anyway.


Don't let the bastards grind you down, Amy.

The FREAKING longest comment. Evah.


Dude, waiters. You were down in Miami recently, no? Not that I'm saying all waiters do this kind of thing but it's been known to happen in tourist towns like Miami/San Diego/etc....waiters steal the credit card numbers off of restaurant bills and then USE THE CARDS for online payments. Bad people, all.

But I lurve my pretty Capital One card with the pretty ladybug on it, so I'm glad to hear that their customer service actually doesn't suck.


Alright, I confess. It was me me me. Thanks for the life time supply of paper clips, coffee filters, and that killer computer chair with the surprisingly effective lumbar support.

Dude. Seriously, I freaked out when you said Pensacola. Actually, I was flattered because I thought you were going to announce how I was the coolest new person that's come to your site because I mentioned Malibu Musk. But that anticipation of attention was sadly squashed.

Instead, I will be your official Pensacola lookout since I am stuck in this place for awhile.

suzanna danna

wow!... credit card fraud drama... don't the black eye'd peas have a song about this... yo?


Damn, sister. That sucks. So glad to hear that you don't have to pay for someone's orgy of paperclips.


interesting ... it's actually possible to re-configure a pre-exisiting card with other [eg your] credit information, which would explain how they physically swiped the card. there's a machine, the same that's used to configure your ATM card at the bank, for example, that allows for this, assuming that you have all of the credit info.

regardless, your cc issuer will send you an affidavit to sign, stating that you neither consented to, nor have knowledge of, the transactions, and they'll write it off; it's build into the interest that they charge.

it's also a good idea to get a copy of your general credit report (which you can often get for free, from the three agencies), to see what's there ... you may or may not be surprised.



People, I was on the old IM with her having a great conversation about crazy pills and how pretty we are when she first discovered this charge. I'm still shaking. It was scary! Credit fraud bad! Very very bad!

That is why you can only trust your friends, the JLB, and wine.

(But not that vino guy. Because seriously, all I read there was "blee bloo blah I don't like to leave a real email address smart things about money you don't understand blah blah anonymouscakes.")


I wonder how often this happens to people who are so rich they don't even notice it. Because, maybe it's intentional and Office Depot is the thief.


ms hussified: nice ... at least we're on the same page about a few things, though eg placing trust in a) JLB (which for me means Jorge Luis Borges, but for you ... a reference to some light infantry unit, whose fearless albeit iconic leader/inspiration is a blonde from an 80's sitcom) and b) wine ...

in wine, there is truth; I couldn't have stated it better myself ...


Hurray for Capitol One doing their job.

Did I ever tell you that Discover put such a fear of God into Excellent Purchase that I never even had to pay for my television debacle? Tis true. My new TV was freeeeeeee when all was said and done, which would've been lovely if I was not, by that time, already dead because my brain exploded from dealing with those morons.



(Someone better pour me a wine and get me some fricking M&Ms, stat.)


I had a similar experience about three weeks ago. Someone in Michigan was making gas charges with my debit card at several stations while I was in Oregon, where I live. My credit union told me that there had been a lot of that going on with several banks. Although the service rep couldn't give me any specifics, she mentioned that there is a third party who does the credit card processing for many companies. I believe it was one of the greedy bastards who works for them. One unimaginative asshole if you as me. At least a computer sounds like it's worth the effort!
Like you, I got my butt covered by the bank. But, I still feel vulnerable anyway. I mean if it happened once . . . So now I'll be stashing my money in the freezer, under my mattress, and in a hole behind the house. Yaa, that oughtta work!

type a

wrong. bad and wrong. except for capitol one. they are good and helpful.


seriously - all kidding aside - neither Macarthur nor Patton have anything on Judith Light or her brigade; case in point, both Patton and MacArthur and the majority of those who served under them are dead.

you, Judy Light and the rest of the brigade are alive and kicking.

'Old soldier never die', they just blog ... a speech that should have been written about yous ...

the JLB is dead! long live the JLB!


invinoveritas makes my brain hurt! I'm going quietly back to my squee....


wow ... a chap stops in for a little levity and gets run out of town ... where's the love?

ps - amalah: still an intensely intersting site, that I've enjoyed picking through.



Your writing is so wonderful. Loved this. I say put your pup on the case..the little crime dog..he can take a bite out of crime..or at least shake a bit than piddle.


how sad is it that I'm now searching Ebay for the exact replacement for the My Little Pony from the 4th grade? It was purple...


That is the suck. I'm sorry. Also? Bwahahaha I hope it never happens to me. Then again, I'm a poor student with a 500 dollar credit limit on my card, and only about fifty bucks of space on it (damned textbooks.) so it wouldn't do anyone a whole lot of good to try to use it. Also, just saw the note. Tis cute. :)


Glad you got everything worked out!

A few random thoughts about credit card fraud, since I work in online retail and see this crap everyday:

Call your credit card company first, before you call the store at which the Bad Person used your card. (A big gold star for doing just that! :) ) The store is not going to be able to do jack or squat about it besides tell you that yes, someone was a Bad Person.

It's federal law that you can't be liable for fraudulent charges on your credit card above $50. In four years of dealing with people's online credit card transactions I have seen a bank stick $50 to a customer exactly once. Most of the time they just drop the entire charge. In case you're wondering, both the bank and the store in question eat the loss.

Keep an eye out for little charges that you don't recognize, too. Some Bad Guys will buy something little just to establish a customer history, and THEN go nuts with the card once they know a store is going to let it through.

Credit card fraud can happen a bazillion ways -- a few of which you're not going to have much control over. But shredding stuff with personal information, only using websites with secure ordering, and supplying ID when it's asked for without having a hissyfit over it are all good steps to take.

Okay, I'll shut up now.....


OMG I laughed so hard I cried! I think I love you!

I had my purse stolen about a year ago and went through similar unholy telephone conversations. Your writing makes me spit up my beer - this is a GOOD thing. YAY!




I read your post and laughed out loud (with you not at you, pulleaze, i am human)...because the EXACT same thing happened to me (credit card wise). Some ASSHOLE (not yelling, just emphasizing the ASSHOLINESS of the person) stole my cc # too, and charged $500 of gift cards at Amazon and also ordered $200 worth of Honey Baked Ham to be delivered to someone in Missouri. So basically this aforementioned asshole probly got laid or something on my dime - and my ham - which I told the person at my bank I would accept delivery of if I had to pay for it. I got the money back instead, but only after two hours of dreaming about how large a party I would be forced to have if, in fact, I received $200 of Honey Baked Ham. Either that, or perhaps I would receive some sort of humanitarian award because I would donate all the ham to a homeless shelter. I almost went ahead and ordered some just to be able to do that, but then remembered I had been putting off buying new underwear simply b/c I was so broke, so decided against it.

Anyway - people who steal cc numbers suck. I love your blog.

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