I mentioned that the son of one of my wife’s friends is a wide receiver at Ohio State University. So after I saw a couple of posts on Saturday, I thought that Buckeyes jerseys with his name and number on them would be a good Christmas present for the family. So I did a little Internet searching, and although the big retailers didn’t offer his name on a jersey, I found a store that offered custom jerseys and let you choose from members of the current roster. So I selected four different jersey styles and added them to the cart. Although the store had a PayPal logo on it, it didn’t offer it as a payment option during checkout.
So I entered my credit card information with a touch of trepidation, but I’ve been fairly lucky with online stores to this point, so….
The browser’s address bar goes to some Chinese processing company and ends with a screen that says System Exception. And, nothing. No email confirming the transaction, oh boy.
A little while later, my beautiful wife asks me to look at something. The credit card company has sent her a potential fraud alert. A payment to some company name not visible on the Web site in the amount of the transaction. I told her to decline it, which put us on the fraud path, which cancelled my existing credit card. I should get a new one sometime soon.
The best possible result is that this was simply a Chinese manufacturer that hid its name behind an American sounding storefront and was not actually harvesting Buckeyes’ fans credit cards.
But what makes this a particular Noggle Christmas story is that I told my wife what I had ordered, and she told me that her mother had been caught by the same site. My wife, unknown to me, had thought that a #86 Buckeyes jersey would make a good Christmas gift for me, so she asked her mother to find one, buy it, and wrap it for her. And her mother, who is fairly Internet savvy, ordered from the same online store. And her credit card company processed the payment without a potential fraud alert, and she had to not only get a replacement card, but she had to work with her credit card company to get a refund.
We have a history of getting each other the same things for Christmas, so we kept in the spirit of that by getting each other credit card fraud for the holidays.
In other news, my holiday spending and one-for-me, one-for-you protocol has been suspended for the nonce. Ah, well, everyone has enough from me already anyway.