"Terrorism has once again shown it is prepared deliberately to stop at nothing in creating human victims. An end must be put to this."

Vladimir Putin


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Well, it was an interesting day.


I have some accounts I balance every day.  Only a few, but they get used so I balance them daily. Waiting 30 days for a new statement is unwise these days.

We have a family debit card.  I checked that account, and Lo!  There were a lot of charges on it down in Florida. The problem is, we don't have any family members in Florida just now.

Called the bank.  Our bank operates in three states. It's a big company. I could not get through. Tried and tried, finally got a person in the fraud department. She was having a bad day. I was not the only one who got an unpleasant surprise this morning in that respect.  Apparently, someone or a group of someones got the debit card info on many, many customers of my bank in all three states and started buying things. In my case, they bought a hundred dollars worth of beauty products,  then some things at different Walmart's around Ocala.

So, we cancelled that card, and tomorrow I have to go to the bank and fill out some forms to get my money back. Fortunately for me, since we only keep a minimum in that account, they didn't get a whole lot.  The lady I was talking to on the phone told me a lot of people got zapped for thousands of dollars, including one person who lost nine thousand. Of course, they will get it back, but it will not be a Merry Christmas for those who had their only account drained. They won't get their money back for "three to four working days" after they come in and file their paper work.

Now I know some people will say that their bank would catch that kind of thing and nip it in the bud. Mine was supposed to, but didn't.  I wouldn't count on the bank stopping anyone from pilfering your account, even though you do get your money back in the end.

Don't worry. The banks got you covered! 


Why, I wonder, are there so many people out there who are low life scum?  Watching the Atlanta News, stealing packages off people's front door steps is another big Christmas activity down there.

And they look like such nice young fellows! (Not)
The people they have arrested so far include  two High School football stars who are now losing their college offers. Stupid, stupid people. Two potential Fulbright scholars, lost to society. How sad. Maybe Obama will grant them a pardon, like he did for so many this week. It's a holiday tradition, or so said the news talking heads.


Last night we had a big storm, heavy rain and wind all night. Today was warm, but overcast and wet. Outside temperature here, just after midnight, is 58 degrees outside. I've been up here more than thirty years, and have never see a winter like this one. There isn't any winter.  If this keeps up, we'll have a bumper crop of snakes and insects come Spring.

The kids will be here Christmas Day.  We need to get them new glasses while they are here, their Jeep is going into the shop for some minor body work, a new front windshield (it's cracking), and four new tires. My daughter needs to renew her drivers license. They will be here six days, and I think those will be busy one's. It will be good to see them again, and I hope they bring me the new ferrets.

Mine probably won't have wings but you never know who will turn up at a Ferret Rescue.


I have a roaring headache, which is why I am up tonight. It's the weather. These different density air masses going overhead are one of the detrimental aspects of living here. You take the good with the bad.



Two more days to Christmas. I hope this coming year is better , on all fronts, than 2015 was.






40 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Sorry that account got hacked. I only use that stupid card (atm, debit) to pull cash out of the bank's atm and I do everything in cash, from gasoline to Peanut M&M's. Cash cant be hacked!

    Too bad the black lives matter crowd is up to being the 'Grinche's that stole christmas' I don't have any sympathy for those students.

    Its been a real warm December. The last warm December was back in 2005 right after Katrina. It was in the 80's almost the whole month of December.
    Harry. Do you recall what December, 2005 was like on your end?

    Take benedryl allergy pills. That's what helps me Harry with sinus/air pressure headaches.

    As per the neighbor problems I have been having. Things have settled down. I got involved because I felt sorry for the dog. That was the only reason. I rescue dogs like you rescue ferrets so dealing with problems to help an animal is something I am used too.

    I heard Obammy's bullshit NPR 'No one likes me because I be black' interview.
    Get a life knucklehead. Incompetence and corruption comes in all colors.
    Show some manhood and resign.

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    1. I can vouch for CC's benedryl statement. It helps me some and I got one of those headaches as I write this.

      It will make you sleepy though so plan accordingly.

      Yeah we went through this a couple of weeks ago with our credit card. Hassle.

      The individual spent quite a bit of money at a gentlemen's club.

      I hope that butt-wipe at least got his money's worth..... and an STD.

      Delete
    2. CC: Glad you tried to help the dog. If the dog catcher took him away don't you think that they will kill him? I hope hot.

      I drink some NyQuil but that hasn't been helping. I will try the Benedryl, I have lots of it because the ferrets get it when they are itchy.

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    3. Matt,

      I don't see how the credit card companies are making any money if they have reimburse all this fraud expense. The lady at my bank told me a massive number of accounts were hit from the bank, and in all three states (Ga, Tn, NC). Some people had thousands drained from their accounts.

      Delete
  2. I'm glad for you and your wife that your kids will make it home for Christmas. It is good for families to be together.

    We have had reports here of packages being stolen from front porches and apartment building mailbox areas. Low-life, bottom feeders are in all parts of the country.

    I guess credit card theft is rampant everywhere. I declined to get a bank card with my checking account, but instead get one of those pre-paid cards if I want to order something online. Works for me, because I rarely order anything. Living where I do with so many stores within easy driving distance, it is just easier to pay cash locally.

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and I, too, hope the next year will be better than this one - for all of us!

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    1. This hasn't been a good year, for me personally or really for the rest of the family. And I know a lot of the people I communicate with on line have had things to cope with. Then there's the national situation, which doesn't bear thinking about.

      I just hope this coming year, we are all spared the trauma. And that things get better for the country we live in.


      I have to have a debit card, as I do buy a lot of things on line, and I need to be able to cover my kids if they have a financial emergency. It was actually my son's card that got hit. It's taken care of now, had to fax some papers up to him, he signed them, faxed them to the bank, and the bank says it will restore the funds to my account in a few days. Just one more uncertainty to have to deal with.

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  3. My condolences for your banking 'adventures', I hope the paperwork goes through smoothly. I wonder why people work so hard to steal other people's stuff - the effort they put out could likely have gained them compensation LEGALLY if they applied for a job. I guess they just don't care, feeling its the other person's problem.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours - I hope your family have a great holiday.

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    1. There are lots and lots of people who find that by living off the dole, and devoting their energies to criminal acts, they can make a lot more money than if they work, and that's all they care about. The fact that they victimize others means not a jot to them. Even living way out here on top of this mountain in the woods, the low lifes can get to me, as this card business proves.

      Hope your Christmas is quiet and peaceful.

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  4. i wonder why these criminals are always referred to as 'students'. students are studious people not thieves or rapists.

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    1. It's a convention of the time. Just like when alarm companies advertise their wares on tv. The "burglar" is always white. Statistically, it's way out of line with the truth, but the truth today is whatever politically correct pundits of the media say it is.

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  5. had my debit card stolen via a skim machine just before thanksgiving. The thieves made sure to charge at thanksgiving day so it looked like holiday travel problem is they maximized tehwhitdrawel, so I caught it that day. we just happen to check our balences. the other problem is the bank was stupid enough to raise our daily limit on atm withdrawels to $1000. its the banks loss not mine as federal regulatory law requires them to refund if I report it in less that 24 hours. if I wait 48 hours they only have to pay back $500.

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    1. Wow. That's a tough system. I know lots of people who never balance their accounts, even when the statement comes in. They'd get rolled. I balance mine every single solitary day, without fail. Good thing you caught it when you did.

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  6. Yeah, hope 2016 is better for everyone.

    Glad to hear that your kids will be joining you for Christmas - our son will be here for 3 days from the 25th, and our daughter has just moved into a new house, in a new town about 2 hours away, so we won't be getting together this year.

    Bank fraud - thankfully, our bank phones us if they notice strange purchases happening - so most times we can nip it in the bud. Working together with their clients help!!

    Merry, Merry Harry - to you and yours, from me and mine :)

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    1. Dani, I hope you have a good Christmas there. I am taking my daughter up to a city just north of us, in the heart of the Smokies. Her company offered to transfer her there and she wants to take a look at it. If she transfers there, it's just a day trip and we could see her often.

      I thought my bank watched my purchases for anomalies, but I think the holiday season makes it hard for them because millions of people are traveling and using their cards in places they normally don't.

      Delete
  7. I get barometric headaches too. Not fun.

    Not too many folks around who haven't had a card hacked at some point now. Crazy how often it seems to happen.

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    1. Lisa, it rattled me I admit.I am very compulsive about my financial accounts. This was a salutary lesson to me to be even more attentive to detail.

      I have never been much bothered by headaches, but this winter I can't seem to escape them. These massive storms (like last night) moving through the mountains in winter...
      I've never seen the like before.

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  8. Oh no! That sucks about your card! That's a nightmere. I have had someone try and deposit money, and take out money. The bank caught them. I was so happy that they did.

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    1. They did that on my account. They deposited one dollar, and withdrew one dollar, and it went through. Then, it was off to the races. It is a nightmare. That's a good way to put it. I need the debit card to cover my kids in case they have a financial problem, and I order things on line with it.

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  9. One added layer of security you can do is to bank locally. Go with a local Credit Union. They are local folks and know their customers on a first name basis. You won't be talking to a cubicle farm in Bangladesh when you call them to sort out an issue. Furthermore they have no minimum balance requirements or ATM fees and their investments are all local so your mortgage will never be sold to Freddy and Fannie or Obamamotors. They will spot patterns like oddball purchases outside of the norm and will notify you when they catch it, and they will pick it up before you. Another solution I learned about recently was that if you use your ATM/debit card at point of sales do not run it thought as a debit. Run it though as a credit card so you don't use your pin number. From your end the transaction will be no different and you will not incur any additional fees. It will automatically deduct funds from your bank account but it uses a separate routing through the CC network that adds the extra layer of protection and you are not entering your PIN number in unknown terminals that may be corrupted with skimming malware. Obviously in your case it appears it was a bank network security issue and not just your card so you are covered but it is still a PITA.

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    1. Alas, when I opened my bank account more than thirty years ago, it was a little country bank and I knew everyone and they knew me. Literally, that's not an exaggeration. Nobody ever asked for id when I went in to cash a check.

      But like so many other things, that has changed. When I got here my bank was one little red brick building. Now that building has been turned into a library, and there are United Community Banks in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. You can't drive ten miles without tripping over one of them, seems like.

      Someone tried to open up a little "one off" bank a few years ago but they just couldn't compete here with the big guys, and went broke.

      I usually run my card as a credit card when I am swiping it. I dont know how they got the card on the account my son uses, as he hasn't used the card in several months!

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  10. Regarding your card hack...that happened to me twice last summer in a month during my treks back and forth to my pop's place (600 mile round trip). The bank and I narrowed it down to a Shell station where I always filled up as it was the halfway point. Pay at the pump utilizes satellite link up and the signals are easily hijacked. These people then sell the card numbers to buyers from all over the planet. One of the purchases on my card was in Luxembourg for a hotel. Even inside the stores the system may still use a satellite linkup. I pay cash now at gas stations.

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    1. Lord, I always use the card at the gas station. If someone is getting into the satellite links I am almost sure to be hit again. In fact, I never carry any cash anymore. I tried to, out of habit, but I found if I had cash I spent it a lot more easily and thoughtlessly than I did when I had to get the card out.

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  11. In MHO we could stop all identity theft if we simply required that the stores (or anyone accepting other than cash) make positive identity AND that failing to do so would leave them with the bill without any recourse to the person whose identity was stolen. Imagine if you will that the store actually ask these thugs to prove who they are and that the card is theirs. The ONLY reason identity theft is possible is because the responsibility for the effects of it are placed incorrectly.

    I do not have a debit card. I have four ATM cards which my four credit unions wanted to be debit cards but after much debate they acceded to my request and my cards are ATM only. I pay for everything with cash or my Visa card. I don't even write checks except in those rare instances where I pay a bill by mail. I am 72 and have had checking accounts for over 50 years and I have never written a check for a purchase (except once when I bought a car for cash) at a retail outlet. It gripes me to be behind someone in the checkout line and they are writing a check for a $2.98 item.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I still write checks at places where you don't have to fill it out, like the Ingles grocery store. It's as fast as a plastic card. But in places where you have to fill out your own check, I don't because it's too slow. I'm less socially conscious so I don't worry about slowing people down much, but I do have trouble with my writing sometimes as I have arthritis that gives me trouble from time to time.

      I guess no way is completely safe these days. There was a comment above about how crooks steal your card info right off the gas pump now.

      Maybe it was better when there were no cards and everybody paid cash or wrote checks. But then there was no internet and you can't make plane reservations or do much else without a card. I suppose we just have to adapt.

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  12. Harry,

    I've been dealing with a headache for 2 days now, the pressure doesn't help. Sorry to hear you had to deal with theft to your bank account. Go thing there's insurance to cover the theft, and you get your money back. This happened to my husband and I 15 years ago. The suspect went on a major shopping spree in Kmart and Walmart's for electronics to the tune of $5,000. The bank redeposited the money into our account, and apparently they never caught the suspects. Fraud is a major issue across this country.

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    1. Sandy, I am beginning to think I need to get in on this fraud business. It sounds lucrative and nobody ever seems to get caught and get punished for it!

      But with my luck, I'd be the only one in America who did. It would be fun to steal Obama's card number and make big donations to the NRA, the Republican Party, the John Birch Society, et al though, wouldn't it?

      Sorry about the headaches. I never had to deal with this before myself, but these massive storms, one after the other, are causing me a lot of misery.

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  13. Merry Christmas Harry! We have had all those bad storms too. Around 3pm today it got real interesting..

    Senior and I both have had our cards hacked. Navy federal and USAA were great about informing us of the activity.
    The package stealing thing goes on everywhere. We had one home owner who got sick of it and boxed up dog poop and left it on his door step, then put up a video camera to catch the people. It was really funny when the cops caught the thieves and they were arrested for stealing poop...

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    1. I can't believe how common that stealing off the door step is! Here at my place, the FEDEX and UPS guys can get up the jeep trail if it's not wet, but they are doomed when they get to the house because it's impossible to turn a big vehicle around up there. My buildings are pretty much built on a little flat space cut out of the side of the mountain.

      So we have a deal. They put my packages in a big plastic bag and tie them to the gate at the foot of the mountain. I pick them up as I go in and out. I have never had any problem with somebody coming by and taking something. Probably because no one goes out here very often.

      That guy with the dog poop did well. If it was legal, I'd make a bomb of some kind that would throw the poop on them when they opened the package. But I guess then I'd be the one who got arrested and not the thieves!

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  14. If you are on the road and your account gets hacked, it's nearly impossible to straighten it out. Very bad if you bank has no branches where you are. A lot of guys at the marina check their accounts every single day. I'm not quite that bad, but I try and keep on top of it.

    Once they flagged my card as stolen -when I tried to use it. Good thing I had a backup plan as that couldn't be fixed until I got back to NH. Three times over the phone they said it was fixed, but every time I tired to use the card it got denied.

    Good luck with the ferrets. Happy for you that you've got family around the holidays. It's tough out there for those who are alone.

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    1. Holidays are bad times to be alone. I spent plenty of them in godforsaken third world dumps and it was hard to keep your spirits up. Now I am fortunate to be home, and the kids are coming, it should be a really great week together.

      I can imagine the trauma involved with trying to deal with an issue like credit card fraud when you live a mobile lifestyle. It was ancey enough getting it taken care of here, at a fixed base. My kids have a fax machine, and I have a fax machine, so it's easier than it would have been otherwise because the bank wanted me son to come in and he lives way up North.

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  15. Lisa seems right on the mark. We got hit on the 4th of july holiday. Some hackers hit about 1000 people for a bunch of money from an outfit out of florida. It took my wife a lot of time and effort to get it all fixed. They drained our checking acct., so the bank automatically transferred money from savings to cover more. Of course, there were fees associated with this, which my wife had to fight the bank over. In the end we ended up whole, but some bills which come directly out of our account had to try 2 and 3 times, which makes us look bad, such as car ins., and cell phone bill.
    I feel for all who get headaches. I suffer from chronic daily migraines. Some days are good and some lets say not. But all in all, life is great, I have a good wife and even with a country that is a mess, it is still the greatest nation on earth, and I am proud to say I am an American, and I am proud of each and every man and woman who has ever served our nation in the military. So I wish each and everyone, but especially our veterans, a Merry Christmas.

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    1. It was the Christmas holidays the crooks used to cover their activities this time.

      My daughter gets really bad migraines. She has been to all kinds of doctors, and tried all the new "miracle migraine cures" that have come out, without success.

      I have never had to worry about headaches, but this year we have had a whole series of big storms roll through our mountains. Every time one does, they are very violent. I get the headache then.

      I share your sentiments about military and former military people.

      I hope you have a good Christmas, and that it's quiet and nobody bothers you for at least a small period of time. Seems like these days there's always something coming up...

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  16. Oddly enough my account was hacked earlier this month, I'll give USAA this much they were right on top of it, and contacted me right away. They closed the account and got things going within 24 hours.

    The Temps here in Hampton Roads are setting records today. we're looking at hitting the 80 mark. Nothing like a wet soggy Christmas to put you in the holiday spirits.

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  17. Merry Christmas Harry to you and your family.

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    1. Yael, thanks. The kids are coming home and I am really looking forward to it. Then the holidays get over and there's only the long, dreary winter to get through after that. My sentiments are much like those you expressed on your blog!

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  18. Tim, I have a USAA credit card, though I don't use it hardly ever. It's never been hit, and I hope it stays this way. I don't remember ever having a problem like this until just now on the bank debit card.
    We had a horrific storm last night, all night lone. 5 inches of rain here, thunder and lightning to beat the band. It's not supposed to be so bad with this next one coming through tonight.

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  19. Ralph checks our account daily....so far so good but the more electronic things we do the more our information gets out there!
    As to the new year...May you be safe and secure on your mountain....Happy 2016

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    1. Thanks, Fiona.

      I wish I could avoid using the computer but it's just about impossible not to these days.

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  20. I hate people who steal your credit card numbers. My mom had that happen to her over and over at her storage unit before she figured out who was doing it. Credit cards are a little better than banks at realizing when you're being frauded, but sometimes banks turn off your cards when they shouldn't and stop you from using them. They can't win LOL I'm glad you're going to get your money back!

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    1. Becca, it's a big mess and a lot of stress. Two years ago some guy in Moscow was paying his internet bill with my American Express card.

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