It happened shortly before the Great Comcast Fiasco (which, incidentally, seems to be resolved at this point, at least for me. Karen Dianne is having her own issues and I hope Comcast gets them resolved very soon, but I digress). And it took me totally by surprise. I came home after spending a long day at Sherry's, helping her with the new baby, and there were two voice mails waiting for me. They both claimed to be from a banking security agency -- the name of which escapes me at the moment and probably for all time -- and asked me to call them, at any hour of the day or night, to discuss a problem involving my bank account. Cautious and ever suspicious, I decided these were some sort of a scam to get my personal information. After about fifteen minutes, I thought that perhaps I should give them a call -- what if it were on the up-and-up?
I phoned, resolving not to give anyone any numbers. The person who answered the phone said that my bank had contacted them early in the morning to report atypical activity from my account, and asked them to look into it. He then asked me if I'd made a purchase at 8:21 that morning involving more than $900 worth of software. I said that I had not. He asked about another purchase at 8:23 for more software, about $250 worth this time. Again, I said I had not. Finally at 8:26 there was one more for $78 -- more software. I said I had had nothing to do with any of these. He said that he was going to deactivate my debit card and that I should go to the bank the next morning. He never asked for any account numbers or anything else. He did ask if I had handed my card to anyone lately, such as a waiter. I had not.
When I got to the bank, I was referred to Christine, the head teller at the Abington branch of Abington Bank. Calmly, courteously, professionally, Christine confirmed that, indeed, the bank had declined the transactions and reported the suspicious activity to the security company. She asked me for a written statement. She printed out all recent activity on my account and I confirmed that it was all accurate. Christine advised me to keep a watch on my account through the on-line service. She confirmed the deactivation of my card and said it would be a week or so before I would have a replacement. It all took about ten minutes.
The next morning when the phone rang a little after nine, it was Christine. She said that the $78 charge had somehow gone through and would I be able to come over to the bank to sign some more papers. When I got there, she referred me to the branch manager, Josie. Again, calm, professional, friendly. Everything was all prepared; all I had to do was sign. She said that the $78 would be back in my account within 3 business days. We talked about how this could have happened, and again the "waiter" possibility came up. No waiter, but the print-out showed that the last time I'd used my card before the fraudulent transactions was when I'd bought gas. I'd handed my card to the attendant and, in thinking back, I realized that he had had it for a much longer time than usual.
With so many disappointments in dealings with companies and corporations, it was refreshing and reassuring to have had what could have been a horrendous experience all be handled in a proactive, protective, professional and helpful manner.
Reader, if you are Near Philadelphia and looking for a bank, I urge you to consider Abington Bank. They looked out for me. And I bet they will look out for you, too.