Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Hacker From Houston
I received a phone call today from a "Ms. Moore" who claimed to be from Capital One. She said they had not received my payment. This was odd, because I'm a fanatic about paying my bills. I went through my records when she was on the phone, and sure enough... I could not even find a statement or that month. Did I get it? I started to wonder. I took a little long too review my records and she started to get loud. She said that I was in "collections" for the full amount and became increasingly belligerent. This didn't make sense. One payment and into collections?
I said, "How do I know you're really from Capital One?" At that point, she started screaming, and so I said, "I'm calling Capital One right now." I hung up, she was still screaming. Upon calling Capital One and talking to their collections department, they found no indication of them having placed any calls. Furthermore, to them, I was a customer in excellent standing, and they were willing to waive any late fees because I had called them, and this was an unusual oversight on my part. I went onto my caller I.D., and gave them the number that had shown up. It was a normal number from "Business Office," with a regular area code and number.
She said that it was suspicious. Whenever a Capital One agent would call, the number would always come up as "Number Unavailable." And whenever I called them, it would always be an 800 number, and a second party would come on the line if I were to make a payment from my bank account to verify the information. It looked very suspicious and they are investigating. I paid off the account and closed it down.
I found out that the number was from the Houston area. My friends down there say that since Katrina, there have been loads of scams happening around there, and now it seems they've also hacked systems. Another scam they're perpetrating is to call people and tell them there's a warrant for their arrest because they've missed jury duty. For a few thousand, they can change it. They ask for you bank routing number and empty your account.
So if you come home and find a message from a credit card company asking you to call them back, go immediately to your statement and call that number instead.
Posted by Kanani at 11:24 PM