So, I logged onto my credit card website thingy to pay my bill for the month today, and much to my surprise and horror, someone appears to have stolen my credit card number, and racked up $17,000 on it, which is awful in and of itself, but moreso when you consider that that is $9000 over my limit. This is quite the feat, since every time a suspicious charge has been applied to my card in the last ten years or so, the account has immediately been locked, and me contacted to make sure that I was the one making the charge or not.
So, I called up the credit card company to report the card stolen and find out what I have to do to get this $17,000 charge off my card and the real fun began. First, I got kicked around to about 73 different departments before someone finally sent me to the right one. After an hour of sitting on hold and repeating my problem, I finally got a guy that seemed to understand English and knew what to do. I asked them why my account wasn't put on hold when suspicious charges started showing up and they said that all of the charges were made within my zip code so they were not considered to be suspicious. I pointed out the $9000 over the limit and asked why THAT wasn't considered suspicious, and the guy said, and I quote, "you can't see it right now, but I'm shrugging."
So, aparently there was a new law passed last year by congress regarding credi cards and identity theft. Under this new law, a credit card company is within their rights to deny any claim of identity thefy and demand payment of any and all debts incurred on the card in question if they have any doubts of the validity of my claim that the card was stolen. And since all of the charges were made within my zip code, there is some doubt, for some reason.
So, I now have to download and print out a 54 page appeal form, fill it out, have it notorized and send it back to them, and cross my fingers that whatever auditor reviews the case sides with me. Otherwise I'm out $17,000.