Monday, December 24, 2007

holiday weirdness

So I shan't blog at length from the bosom of family etc. & the depths of the usual holiday depression, except to wish everyone out there a peaceful time. I mean, so far as Christmas goes, I can do without the crap holiday music, I can do without the annual battle over the presence/absence of the Baby Jaysus, I can do without Santa Effing Claus & his effing elves & all the godawfully tacky electric lights festooning all the houses in the neighborhood, I can certainly do without the rampant consumerist stampedes & the peer-pressure anxiety over whether I've gotten the right/enough gifts – I can even, at a pinch, do without some of the lovely carols, which I've often thought would be much nicer listened to sometime in March or April. The only thing about the holiday that I appreciate is that it's the one time of the year that people at least pay lip service to the concept of peace. And lip service, however superficial, is better than never mentioning it at all.
But did I mention identity theft? Here's the very weird story: I have a checking account in my name, a distant descendent thru a score of moves & bank consolidations of the same checking account I opened when I was 16 years old. It's lain moribund for maybe 5 years or so – in fact, the only checks I have for it are printed with the name of a bank that got swallowed up by my present bank some years ago; I keep a very little bit of money in it to buy things on eBay, but that's it.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to deposit a fairly substantial windfall into this account the other day, maybe the first real deposit I'd made in three or four years. And then a couple of days later I went & did some holiday shopping. Lo & behold, waiting for me at home, when I returned from the mall with my new yellow shoes (which yes, Bill, I am wearing), there was a package waiting for me, mailed from Miami Beach: inside, a bottle of emu oil-fortified facial cleanser. It had been ordered with my checkcard; the invoice had my address, my phone number (which I don't really give out very often), & a hotmail e-mail address that bore no resemblance to mine.

Going online to check the account, I discovered a whole series of unauthorized purchases, including online audio books & something from a company called "Boca Java Coffee." Of course I immediately got on the phone with the bank & got those purchases refunded & my card cancelled. Only today did Boca Java's box of two pounds of premium coffee – the first installment of a monthly subscription – turn up in the mail. Another receipt with my home address & an e-mail address (different from the first) bearing no resemblance to mine.

How very strange: someone somehow filches my card number – I have no earthly idea how, since the damn thing never leaves my wallet – & then uses it to order stuff to be shipped to my home address. It's as tho I have a secret admirer (probably a first for me) who's determined to get me stuff I like or need (yes, I dig coffee, & yes, my complexion could probably use some emu oil) – but who doesn't want to pay for it themselves.

At least the weirdness of this is distracting me from the annual glums. Have a good holiday, everyone.


Brian said...

That has to be the oddest example of identity theft I've ever heard.

Amy said...

was the email address "pippaissosuperfly@" by any chance? They are getting to that age, now, you know...

[whether I mean the age where they drink coffee and rub themselves with emu oil or the age where they steal your credit cards and buy weird stuff online, I do not know]

I just suffered a really annoying case of similar, except no gifts in the mail: just the bill and the headache of cleaning it up, just what you want for xmas.