I’m sitting on my couch watching The Oscars when I get text from Citi saying they couldn’t process a recent charge. I’m not sure what they’re talking about. I haven’t used my Mastercard to pay for anything recently, but I’m so wrapped up in Melissa McCarthy’s dress that I hold off on doing anything about it until the commercial.
At the break, I see that Citi has also sent me an email about how I may have entered the wrong expiration date, security code or mailing address. I also learn that the charge in question is for $609.53 to a company called Farfetch.
Farfetch? Farfetch? The only thing far-fetched about this situation is that I’ve never even heard of Farfetch.
I call Citi and tell the customer service rep, Chrissy, in the fraud department that I didn’t attempt to make a purchase at Farfetch. I also ask her to let me know if any other fraudulent charges have been made today.
Last year when I traveled, I had my card stolen after taking a cab to the airport. On Saturday I flew back from Florida and wondered if something happened on that trip as well.
Chrissy tells me that another payment from the midwest was made. I tell her I’m calling from New York City and I was just in Florida, so it’s not me. While she struggles to say anything, I log into my account to find that someone made five payments at BrownsFashion in LA dating back to February 1 to the tune of $5,004.88.
If Citi were tracking my purchase behavior very well, they would know that I rarely spend money on clothing, so this is out of character (far-fetched, if you will.) She tells me she’ll put in a request to dispute the charges and then says I can do one of two things.
Cancel the card and get a new one in 2-3 business days for $6 or in 7-10 business days at no charge. Thanks for your generosity, Citi.
Dispute the charges and see what happens.
Why bother giving me the option? Isn’t it obvious what I want to do, Chrissy?
In the background I see Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga take the stage to sing “Shallow.” A fitting song given what this stranger did with my Mastercard.
I like that song and loved “A Star is Born,” so I’m eager to see their performance live. I’d also love to press pause, but my DVR (yes, I still have cable) and fast forward, rewind and pause buttons aren’t working.
Trying to speed things along, I tell Chrissy that I’d like to cancel my card and have them reissue me a new one. She asks me some follow up questions as I watch Bradley Cooper cross behind the piano to meet Lady Gaga.
Move it along, Chrissy! This is getting good.
I should have put her on hold and let “Shallow” play in the background. It would have been shorter than my wait time and let’s be honest, much better hold music.
Before we hang up, she tells me I need to call back tomorrow to check on the disputed charges. I ask her if they can email me some kind of confirmation and she says, “No. You have to call back.”
I hang up and catch the last seconds of Gaga and Coop on the verge of making out. Damnit!
They break for commercial and on my laptop I see “Dispute this charge” buttons next to each BrownsFashion charge. I’m tempted to click on them to make extra sure Citi knows they’re not legit, but then, I decide to trust Chrissy and see what happens when I call back. After all, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper stole my heart, some numbnuts stole my credit card and Chrissy stole 15 minutes I’ll never get back.
I watch the rest of the show and then put on my Nancy Drew hat to learn more about BrownsFashion. According to their site, “The search for creativity, innovation and originality continues to define the Browns spirit and in 2015, Farfetch - also known for its pioneering approach, bought and invested in Browns.
Aha! BrownsFashion and Farfetch are in cahoots (thick as “thieves,” if you will.)
“Now that we have combined the Browns DNA with Farfetch's tech brilliance, Browns is on a journey to harmonise the best parts of the beloved boutique shopping experience with the speed and convenience of e-tail.”
Um, Browns, that’s not the kind of tail I’m looking for.
“And you’re invited to join the party.”
It looks like I’m a little tardy to the party, but my credit card thief has been whooping it up all month. I hope he or she has had fun literally at my expense.
So not only was Glenn Close robbed last night, I was, too, but at least I can win something back. Citi, I trust that you’ll “do the right thing” and reverse these charges.
Have you ever had your credit card stolen? Does it make you hesitant to buy things online or do you just proceed with business as usual? After having two credit cards stolen in the past year, I’d love to know. Tell me below and if you like what you read, subscribe below.