September 24, 2016: I finally removed that Christmas header from last year, oh my! Much of the last half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 was absorbed in family matters. Now I'm returning to making this retirement home into a dream place for moi. The outside has been my passion this summer. There is just something about working with your hands in the earth. I established a new garden along the south side of the driveway and it is doing very well. I will do a feature on it soon. Fall is here, we've been getting too much rain here after a very dry summer that jacked up my water/sewer bill (if you use more water here, they automatically also raise your sewer bill, even if you are a single member household and your sewer usage hasn't increased) because my gardens needed watering and so did my front and backyards. I can't stand to let the grass go brown/dormant, it drives me nuts! And with the sod-web worm epidemic around here, not keeping the parts of the lawn NOT under attack by sod-web worm healthy can actually kill off your lawn altogether. My neighbor across the street three houses down learned that lesson the hard way, oh my! The entire curb-cut area across the front of his house died off from lack of water and no relief from the scorching sun we had all summer, in combination with a severe infestation of sod-web worm. Record temperatures and humidity in SE Wisconsin. May as well be living in southern Florida, for pete's sake! Yuk! Now I've got my Shezebo up, though, and I'm loving it! And too soon it will be time to put away all the summer furniture and accessories. But not yet! The trees are still very green in these parts, so I figure I have maybe another month to enjoy my Shezebo before getting her ready for winter. Meanwhile, I'm loving what the rain and slightly cooler weather has done for my lawns! And in a few weeks my new privacy fence along the north lot line is going to be installed! Whoop whoop! Take care! Jan

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FRAUD ALERT! Bogus Charge Using My Debit Card to Checking Account by HOTELS.COM

Hola darlings.  I try not to cross post to Maison Newton from my other blog, Goddesschess.  They are two such entirely different worlds!  But sometimes, bad things happen, and I want to ALERT you to a bad thing that happened to me just yesterday/today.  So please read this:

As you know, I was on vacation for a short while. I returned home the evening of April 26th.

Lo and behold, this morning, I discovered a charge posted to my checking account for $534.60 by HOTELS.COM US 800-219-4608 WA 04/28. ON MY DEBIT CARD.

The problem is -- I did not book my hotel through; I did not book anything through The amount that I paid for my hotel room (booked, incidentally, directly on the hotel's own website), was much much lower, and I paid for my room at check-in with a CREDIT CARD.

I called my bank immediately upon discovering this bogus debit charge. But before I did that, I called the "800" number embedded in the debit information and this was what I heard: We're sorry. The number you have called is no longer in service. Please visit out website." CLICK. Dial tone. No website url given on that recording, OF COURSE.
I knew at once I had been victimized by a thief or gang of thieves. How they got hold of my debit card number, I have no idea, because I do NOT use it to buy airline tickets, book vacations or make hotel reservations.

After explaining what had happened to a very helpful bank representative, I was waiting for a call back and I went directly to and typed in the HOTELS.COM US 800-219-4608 WA on the search bar.

Immediately I discovered hundreds of reports of FRAUD, some outright fraud with unauthorized charges on debit cards and credit cards, some where unsuspecting consumers had booked hotel rooms with only to arrive at their destination and discover that no such rooms had been booked. And lots and lots of other stories, too.

Within 30 minutes or so I received a call back from my bank rep and later, an email, indicating that my "claim" against the charge had been granted and my account would be credited for the full amount of the debit.

So, please BEWARE! And this is a lesson to me to check my online bank account and card activity EVERY SINGLE DAY. Cuz, darlings, I wasn't looking for this, I was just looking to confirm the deposit of my paycheck today. HOLY HATHOR!

P.S. The thief or thieves struck again today, but this time posting a debit for a mere $1 charged to POS DEBIT HOTELS.COM US 800-248-8357 WA. My bank representative told me that this is often done by legitimate companies to "test" that the card information is legitimate, and once confirmed, the charge is "erased." That being said, it is also done by fraudsters to make it appear that the other charge(s) submitted are legitimate! That telephone number was ALSO "no longer in service."

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