SUMMARY: Credit card!
I haven't done much with my credit card lately, seeing as how I've been mostly home sick. I did make some buys online, and something at the pharmacy this morning, and something else lately that's not coming to mind.
I do remember joking with someone at some store about how the dogs getting the credit card would be very bad, even worse than the fact that they're always sneaking into my facebook account and posting annoying things. We laughed. [Where was that? Making me nuts not remembering.]
Who knew that I wouldn't be laughing long?!
It probably wasn't the dogs.
Remember at the end of the October when I thought my wallet was stolen and so canceled my credit card and ordered a new one? So didn't have a credit card for almost a week? And then had to go remember and change allll my recurring accounts over to the new number?
Sigh. Doing it again.
I got home this afternoon to find a partial recording from my credit card company: "...unusual activity on your card. If this is Ellen Finch, press 1." Well, neither the dogs nor the answering machine pressed one. So I looked up their number and called, thinking, yeah, well, this *is* December, and so?
But, sure enough, there were a bunch of things that they listed that I didn't recognize from yesterday and today, one that was hand-written that they had already denied and another that they'd denied for some reason. But a couple they'd let through.
Of course, now my online account is frozen for the moment, so I have to wait until the new card comes in and/or for about 3 days for it to be unfrozen, so then I can go through all the charges and identify what's real and what's not.
Here's the kicker: They have a cool tool where you can get a temporary number that's good for a certain amount from a certain vendor for a certain time period. I used it religiously for online orders, until one day, a few months back, that function no longer worked. I called them to say, hey, I really need a number. And the guy to whom I spoke (I have no idea whether I wrote his name down, because it didn't seem important at the time), said, oh, you don't really need to use that. It's kind of nice, but since you have protection on your credit card anyway, you don't need to go through that trouble all the time. Just use your regular number.
OK, so I did. The thing is: If there is a problem--like now--they have to shut down my regular card and number and I have to go through all this fuss and bother and be without a card. In contrast, if someone tries to use one of the temporary numbers, (a) it probably won't go through, (b) they can probably track better where the problem occurred, and (c) my regular card and number are still safe and usable!
He seemed puzzled why anyone at their company would ever tell me not to use that feature. I assured him that I'd go back to using it and hope that it works.
So--merry Christmas. Guess I'm not finishing my shopping until the very last minute this year! And rest assured that I'll be keeping a close eye on my dogs' spending habits.