May 18, 2014

Spring of a sort has arrived, at last! We are about 3 to 4 weeks behind in terms of what is blooming. Unfortunately, many trees and shrubs around the area died over the winter due to the harsh conditions we endured; many more trees that by now would be abud have yet to set buds. My reliable pink and white bleeding hearts have set their flowers and will give me a fine display again this year. I will be taking slips with me when I move to my downsized digs, probably by the end of July. Much has happened the past few months! This collage features photos of my yard from other days in Mays past in my back yard. I am going to miss Maison Newton, but a smaller yard and smaller house to care for will be welcome. I hope you are all enjoying beautiful weather. Ours has been up and down, but I am enjoying the longer hours of daylight! 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 Hotels.com; I did not book anything through Hotels.com. 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 google.com 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 hotels.com 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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