It happened again, with the same account as the last time. Since yesterday, someone has charged up a storm on my debit/credit card. They paid for airline tickets and hotel (Windsor Inn) through Travelocity; they made three online gaming transactions and bought an assortment of unrecognizable products and services and, get this, they even paid Catholic school tuition in Bridgeport/Fairfield CT!
Either these criminals are incredibly stupid or the investigators are incredibly lax and the thieves know it, because it should not be difficult to determine who used my banking info to pay school tuition. The Bank of America fraud contact person said that airline tickets are also traceable to the purchaser, but it could be that more than one thief used the card number. Often the numbers are stolen by one jerk, and then sold to several other jerks who use them fraudulently.
Unfortunately, customers whose accounts are raided aren't told what happens in any subsequent bank investigation, but it seems to me that we should have the satisfaction of knowing if there was an arrest and who it was that was arrested. These criminals are a cancer on social trust, but I have the feeling that prosecutions are few, even when the fraudsters can be traced. I hope I'm wrong about that.
I'm fanatically careful with bank and credit cards. I always look into the card reader slot and tug hard on the reader before swiping my card to make sure there's no cloning device attached. The fraud person at BoA said that much of the fraud has nothing to do with anything the customer did. The thieves have many ways to steal card numbers that don't involve the customer at all. She said that they even find fraudulent activity on cards that have never been used for even a single transaction by the customer because the thieves generate numbers until they find one that works. So much for being careful.
How about that parent who tried to pay off their child's Catholic school tuition with my money? Most likely the fraudster was a Bridgeport (CT) resident, not a Fairfield resident. I was a volunteer elementary school tutor in Bridgeport public schools when I was a teenager; I tutored reading and math. Fairfield public schools are excellent, but Bridgeport schools are more dicey, so parents there who don't particularly have any religious convictions might send their kids to Catholic schools just to avoid the the public school problems. You know, they don't want their kids exposed to criminal types, like the kind who steal things.
This reminds me of the religious statue thieves who operated in Queens and Brooklyn when I was a child. Lots of people (especially Italians) in the burroughs had St. Anthony statues and Mary on the Half-shell statues in the tiny gardens in front of the their buildings and homes. Some chained their statues to wrought iron garden fences because they might otherwise get stolen. I once knew someone who said they had their statue stolen so they went out and stole someone else's statue to replace it. They saw nothing morally problematic in this. I suppose it was the same with the parent who tried to pay their child's Catholic school tuition with stolen money.