The Gift Cards That Keep On Giving Suspicion

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2018

(I’m the idiot in this story. I was sent to buy a number of gift cards from our local department store to give out to employees found to be doing good work on our project. My dad works for the same company and has sent me to purchase the gift cards with his corporate Visa.)

Cashier: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi there. Can I please have ten gift cards with $100 each on them?”

Cashier: “Sure, no problem.” *fills the cards and scans them through* “That will be $1000.”

Me: “Visa, please.”

(I hand over my dad’s corporate card, and she processes the transaction. The gift cards have been paid for.)

Cashier: “Do you have another piece of ID on you? With a value this high, I need to verify the signature on the credit card.”

Me: “Oh, the signature won’t match. It’s my dad’s corporate card; he sent me to pick up these gift cards.”

Cashier: “Oh, okay, well, do you have some ID on you to verify identity?”

Me: *patting pockets, suddenly realising I left work without my wallet* “I’m so sorry. I seem to have left my wallet at work in my rush to get here.”

Cashier: *growing increasingly suspicious* “I see. I just need to call a manager.”

(I begin frantically trying to reach my dad to have him verify the use of the card — though it won’t do much good with me not having any ID — but he is unreachable. The cashier returns with her manager.)

Me: “I’m so sorry. I realise this probably looks pretty sketchy.”

Manager: “I’m going to have to hold the gift cards. I can’t let you leave with them knowing that this is not your credit card, and you have no way to prove that you have authority to use it.”

Me: “I understand. Let me try to get in touch with my manager who may be able to help or can perhaps find my dad.”

(Meanwhile, the bank associated with the credit card has phoned the department store and informed them that the card has been frozen due to unusual activity. My dad rarely uses his card, and it has coincidentally been used twice already that day so a third transaction seems suspicious to the bank. I get in touch with my manager on my cell phone.)

Me: “This is a mess; I can’t leave with the gift cards because I admitted it’s not my credit card that I paid with and I have no ID.”

My Manager: “Can you see the gift cards?”

Me: “Yes. Why?”

My Manager: “Are you near a door?”

Me: “Yes. Where are you going with this?”

My Manager: “GRAB THEM AND RUN!”

Me: “WHAT?!”

My Manager: “I’m kidding. I’ll try to find your Dad.”

(The department store manager has asked me to speak with the representative from the bank that’s frozen the card.)

Bank Rep: “So, I’m just going to explain this how it sounds to me, and you tell me what you think. You’ve shown up at this store to buy $1000 worth of gift cards, with someone else’s credit card. You have no proof that you are authorised to use this card. You have no ID, so even if you did have some kind of permission slip to use the card, the store can’t verify that it’s you who has permission. You’ve said it’s your dad’s card, but you can’t reach him… and there have already been three transactions on this card today which flag it as suspicious, regardless if you were legitimately allowed to use the card.”

Me: “Yeah. I see how that looks.”

(My dad finally called me back and spoke with the bank, as well as the department store. They agreed to hold the gift cards for him to come pick up later. I made sure I was with him when he came in, with my ID, to show the store manager. She was a good sport, and completely fair in how she treated the situation; it did look like I was trying to steal!)

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Unfair Thing To Do At A Fair

, , , , , | Related | September 13, 2018

(I am seven years old, and a traveling carnival is in town. At this carnival, they give matching stickers to children and parents with their names on them, usually including a simple unique drawing on each in case of repeat names. As a reward for good grades, I am able to go. My mother takes me, but there are conditions she doesn’t mention beforehand. We are exiting the car and approaching the ticket stand.)

Mom: *grabs both of my shoulders and forces me to look at her face* “Remember, you have to say to the nice people that you’re five, or else we are going home.”

Me: *disappointed* “Dad says lying is bad.”

Mom: “Well, I divorced him, and he isn’t here, so do as I say!”

(We arrive at the ticket stand.)

Cashier: *cheery* “Hello, how are you today?”

Mom: *flat and tensely* “One adult, and one child under six.”

Cashier: *somewhat surprised by my mother’s tone, turns to face me* “And how old are you, sweetie?”

Me: *awkward and afraid, totally uncomfortable, or “shy” as some people call it* “Five.”

Cashier: “Great! What’s your name so I can write it on your tag?”

Me: *so nervous I can only hear my heart pounding in my ears, and I regret wanting to come here in the first place* “Five.”

Cashier: *blinks* “Well, all right, then. One moment!”

(She wrote up the parent and child tags, each saying that “Five” was my name, and a quick drawing of a pine tree. Probably because I was scared stiff? I didn’t end up having much fun because I was so scared I was going to get arrested for lying about my age.)

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Sit Down, You’ll Like This One

, , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(Overheard at an airport:)

Ticketing Agent #1: *on phone* “No! He said the child was under age two when he made the reservation!”

Ticketing Agent #2: “Of all the gall…”

Me: “What happened?”

Ticketing Agent #1: “Children under two fly free, seated on a parent’s lap. Children over two have to have a seat. The flight was full, so he missed it because there wasn’t a seat available for his son.”

Ticketing Agent #2: “I don’t think he’ll try that again…”

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They’re Airborne Now

, , , , | Working | September 11, 2018

(It’s around the year 2000. My mother has brought one of our computers in to have some issues checked out, as they’re bad enough to interfere with the computer’s functionality.)

Tech: “Okay, I took a look, and it seems you’ve got a couple viruses that need to be taken care of.”

Mom: “Viruses?”

Tech: “Yeah. You need to be careful what sort of websites you visit; some may download things to your computer without you noticing.”

Mom: “Uh-huh… That’s an interesting problem for a computer that’s never been connected to the Internet.”

(We did get the computer fixed, somewhere else.)

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Cancel The Cancellation

, , , , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(It’s the week before Christmas and also the day before payday for most workers who are paid monthly. I’m handling lost and stolen card calls, but I am also trained in fraud prevention. We cancel lost or stolen cards for anyone who rings, as long as we can find the account, but the account holder is the only one who can request a new card. We also don’t share any account details with non-account holders.)

Me: “Hello, lost and stolen cards. [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Caller: “Hi. My wife lost her credit and debit cards, and I need to get them cancelled and reissued, please.”

Me: “Can you confirm your name, your wife’s name, her address, and her date of birth so I can find the account?”

Caller: “My name is [Caller] and…” *supplies details I asked for*

Me: “So, I cancel the cards straight away, but your wife will need to call directly to get new cards issued.”

Caller: “But both cards will be cancelled and won’t work anymore?”

Me: “Yes, correct.”

Caller: “And when she calls, how long will it take for the new cards to arrive?”

Me: “Usually it’s only a few days, but as we are so close to Christmas, it will more than likely be the new year. The sooner she calls, the better, though.”

Caller: “Okay. She has a chequebook on her account, too. That was also lost; can you cancel that, too?”

Me: “Certainly, but I would need the cheque numbers to be cancelled.”

Caller: “I don’t have those, but you have to cancel the chequebook immediately.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the system won’t allow me to cancel anything without the cheque numbers. When your wife calls to order her new cards we can get the cheque details from her then.”

Caller: “Well, she won’t be able to ring, because, uh… someone broke into her flat and beat her up, and now she’s in a coma.”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that, and I hope she recovers quickly. Would she have bank statements at home? That will show the last cheque cashed, and we can cancel all subsequent cheques from there.”

Caller: “Well, she might do, but, uh… I don’t actually live with her. We’re divorced, but I’m her next-of-kin. I just need you to cancel everything.”

Me: *alarm bells going off* “I’ll have to check with my team leader in the morning. Can I take a contact number and call you back?”

Caller: “Sure, it’s [number]. And her cards are already cancelled, yes?”

Me: “Yes. Thank you.”

(I hang up and check the history on the account, but it only goes back six months. I decide to take a risk and call the number we have on file for the account holder before I actually cancel anything on the account.)

Me: “Hello. Can I speak to [Customer]?”

Customer: “Speaking.”

Me: “[Customer], my name is [My Name] and I’m calling from [Bank]. Do you have a minute to speak?

Customer: “Yes. Is everything okay?”

Me: “Well, I just spoke to your ex-husband, [Caller], who called to cancel your credit and debit cards, as well as your chequebook. He said you were assaulted in your home and were in a coma, but since I’m speaking to you now ,I’m guessing that’s not true?”

Customer: “That f***er! We’ve been divorced for years, but every Christmas he rings the bank right before payday and gets everything cancelled so I can’t do any Christmas shopping. I’ve even changed banks, but he knows that you can find my information with my address and date of birth. I can’t believe he’s done it again. How am I going to do my Christmas shopping?”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that, Ms. [Customer]. I was suspicious of the call, so I’m happy to inform you that I didn’t cancel anything until I spoke to you, so all your cards are active. I’m also going to put a flag on your account advising that we must speak to you before anything is cancelled on the account. Will that be okay?”

Customer: “Oh, my God, yes. Thank you so much!”

Me: “You’re most welcome. I also took his details and will be flagging this to my superiors. You’re welcome to pursue it from your side with the authorities if they can help.”

(My team leader made a change to the customer’s account so any time someone accessed her account, an alert would direct them to the fraud prevention team. They also implemented a rule that someone has to call the number on file before any changes are made to her account. The customer also sent me a huge gift basket for stopping her ex-husband!)

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