02 June 2017

Storytime: A Shoe Connoisseur with Poor Taste Stole My Credit Card Information

White Shoes by Eva Gonzales

I never thought that I'd be the type of blogger to have a bizarre real-life anecdote to share as a storytime, but here we are.

A little over a month ago, I discovered through a handful of unauthorized transactions on my bank account that someone had gotten hold of my credit card information.

Someone who had a taste for expensive shoes.

Particularly, someone who had poor taste for expensive shoes.

I'm not sure how the security breach occurred, since my physical card was never lost. There have been a number of recent high-profile compromises at various retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, so it could have been from something like that. The odds are that I'll never find out.

What I do know is that near the end of April, I got an e-mail notification from my bank reporting a transaction of several hundred dollars. Now, I never spend that kind of money unless I'm paying school expenses, of which I was fairly certain I had none. I thought perhaps it was some kind of technical hiccup, that either my bank had misreported the amount or I had made a legitimate purchase that had somehow gone through multiple times. So, I logged onto my account to get more details, and saw that the purchase was from someplace called http://goat.com.

My first reaction was that I had somehow been charged for one of those charities that sends livestock to families in need--even though I've ever contributed to one of those particular charities, and presumably a goat costs considerably less than the transaction that had been made. So I went on said hircine retailer's website to investigate and found that it was, in fact, an app selling very expensive sneakers. Then I saw a charge on my account for Uber, a service I never use, and knew that my card information had been stolen.

I immediately canceled my card and contacted my bank, who were quick to respond and refund the charges. I thought the matter was settled until I went to activate my new card, and saw that there was yet another unauthorized charge on my old card from after it should have been deactivated--this time for almost $200 from Saks Fifth Avenue, a place that I never shop from. I contacted the bank again and learned that this transaction had apparently been pending at the time and had been mistakenly overlooked. They sent me more paperwork, and reassured me that the matter should now be taken care of.

But the day I discovered the third charge, I received a package in the mail. It was a batch of craft supplies for my Etsy shop that I had ordered from Joann Fabrics, but the odd thing was I had thought the package had already arrived a couple of days prior. Being busy with end-of-semester work, I hadn't had a chance to open the package yet, so I fetched it and had a look inside.

PLOT TWIST: it was the package my credit-card-information-thief had ordered from Saks Fifth Avenue. Nearly $200 was spent on precisely one pair of shoes, and they were a pair of hideous rubber pool slides. Rubber pool slides with a designer Italian label, granted, but rubber pool slides of peculiar atrocity nonetheless. Charging as much as they did was highway robbery on the part of the designer--and I had been the victim of this highway robbery secondhand thanks to the careless and apparently tasteless thief.

I'm not sure why the package got sent to me instead of the thief, but after contacting my bank yet again and e-mailing Saks, I sent the shoes back as a regular return for a refund. I'll be using 1% of my refund to get my own pair of rubber flip-flops from Old Navy--and honestly, I think that's all those awful pool slides were worth to begin with.

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