On Sunday morning, figuring I'd deal with the looming stack of bills that had gathered on my desk, I turned on my DELIGHTFUL, BEAUTIFUL NEW MACBOOK (total boot-up time: approx. ten seconds) and paid a visit to my bank's web site.
Imagine my utter lack of delight when I saw three transactions--one a deposit of $0.01, one a debit of $6.95, one a debit of $39.95--that looked mystifyingly unfamiliar, and all the more so because the transactor was listed only as a telephone number, not as a name. As I pay for almost nothing (save my $7-or-so-per-month Working Assets bill) by direct debit, I immediately had a small freak-out, which was followed by a larger freak-out when I actually called the number listed, discovered it was for an ACH (automatic check handling) processor, and further discovered that the offices for same were closed until Monday morning.
Though I didn't quite go into a tailspin (that would've required a larger debit and/or resultant bounced checks), I did spend an unhealthy chunk of time fretting over what the hell was happening, assuming the worst, and hieing to AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure there were no mortgages or AmEx black cards in my name. (Mercifully, there were not.)
Monday morning, I pulled myself out of bed and, still pj-clad, called my ACH friends. In my best I Will Sweetly Pretend I Don't Want to Rip Your F'ing Head Off voice, I told the rep who took my call that there appeared some odd transactions posted to my bank account. After some investigating, she asked if "Windel Raquipiso, email@example.com, 225 Taylor Street, an SSID ending in 2485, or hornypapi.com" rang any bells.
I answered in the negative, by this point VERY thinly veiling my sputtering rage as I asked how it was that this company might allow someone with a different name, address, e-mail address, Social Security number, and ISP to use my bank account number to finance his hornypapi subscription. She could only tell me that perhaps he had the same account number at a bank with a different routing number, or, um, something, then promised that she would cancel the subscription and credit my account.
Thankfully, both of those things did happen, but still, that doesn't make up for shitty security checks. Why go through the charade of asking for someone's identifying info if you have no intention of actually verifying it against the account they provide? (That's a fairly rhetorical question, I know: the Internet--shock, horror!--is not always known as Scruplesland.)
This stupid mini-debacle has added a measure of annoyingness to my week that I really didn't need, as work- and PMS-related headaches were already doing a fine job of filling me with the desire to remain unmoving in bed for as long as I possibly could. Even the darling new MacBook has been able to make only a small dent in a mood I can only describe as generally un-good.
I hope (and trust) that the 10th Annual Em Wilska Holiday Party due to unfold on Saturday night will turn things around, because it's seriously exhausting to be relatively unhinged for more than a day or two on end. I'm ready to stop assuming that there are more crappy surprises lying in wait.
In the meantime, wine, iWeb, and massive, potentially unhealthy doses of Neko Case.