July 14, 2016
I had my teeth cleaned this morning in Polson. I have them cleaned three times a year, and I'm thinking about upping it to four. I love having my teeth cleaned – the outcome, that is, not the process. Why do hygienists stick all 20 of their latex fingers in your mouth and then proceed to ask you questions as if you are on a first date together? And, don't they get sick of talking about themselves? In spite of her questions, I had to let this hygienist off the hook because she said, "You have beautiful teeth. How old are you? 35?" The heck with the first date: marry me!
Yesterday, I called AMEX to inquire why the fraudulent charge from lyft.com was still appearing on my card activity. The other-side-of-the-world-guy in fraud protection told me not to worry about the charge and said that it would be removed.
My new AMEX card arrived in Polson last Friday – the same day I did. However, it was declined at the dentist's office today. I called AMEX and the other-side-of-the-world-guy in customer service said that my new card had been inactivated due to fraud. Fabulous. It turned out that what I thought was the original fraudulent charge by lyft.com was actually a new fraudulent charge by lyft.com posted on July 6th – TWO DAYS BEFORE I RECEIVED THE CARD. When I asked today's AMEX customer service how that was possible, she said she didn't know. Fabulous. She issued another replacement card to be delivered to my next RV park in Livingston, Montana.
I spent the next hour-and-a-half getting the worst pedicure and manicure of my life. The nail technician didn’t cut the evil cuticles on either my fingers or my toes, nor did she grate or shave the callouses on my feet. She also talked the entire time. I pretended I still had 20 fingers in my mouth and mumbled answers.
As soon as I left the nail salon, I called AMEX again to get an answer on how my new card was hacked by the same entity before I received the card. Danielle in fraud protection speculated that the hacker guessed the replacement card number.
The AMEX card format is xxxx-xxxxxx-1y00z, and each “new” card only replaces the "y" and "z" numbers. The "y" number always increases by one with each replacement card issued, whereas "z" has ten possibilities from zero to nine. Therefore, once a hacker has an AMEX number, the replacement card can be deduced in 10 guesses.
I told Danielle that I was concerned that 1500z was also going to get hacked, so she suggested that I close the account and open another which would change ALL of the numbers. Good idea.
I was transferred to a customer service representative who told me that by opening a new account my interest rate would increase, my credit limit would be lowered, and that the new card would HAVE to be mailed to my registered address in Pennsylvania. Great. Because of AMEX’s stupidity and laziness regarding replacement cards, not only do I have to change all of my AMEX auto-bill relationships again, I’m also being punished financially by AMEX. Terrific.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.