4_chaseI am extremely security aware. Almost to the point of paranoid… but certainly acutely aware of what can go wrrrroonnngggg.

Just the other day, I was checking a credit card and noticed a charge from Reebok for $345. Huh? What’s that? I called Reebok, who responded, “We have no way to look up your account.”  Huh?

“But I need to know what the charge is for,” I said, thinking that was common sense. MAYBE, just maybe it was something under a different moniker­–so, I thought asking the merchant was the correct approach.

Reebok said, “We can’t look up accounts and charges.”

That went well­–although my BS meter was up. Maybe just disgruntled customer service people who don’t want to do their jobs. Seen that before, haven’t we all?

Now, in the interim, for reasons no one at Chase credit card division could explain, many of my charges were being declined despite the fact I pay and there was a low balance. WTF, Chase! Two BLAMS at once?

So, I call them. Their immediate reaction was, “FRAUD!” even though I insisted, “How can you declare fraud if I don’t know it’s fraud or what it’s for?”

Their, ahem, lame response (IMHO) was, “Well it’s probably fraud.” After a half hour of intense frustration, I finally got them to agree to contact the merchant on my behalf, because Reebok couldn’t do it themselves, for some unknown reasons, and Chase wanted to assume the worst without any investigation.

It turns out that it was fraud–again on my Chase-life. Second time in a year.

So now I have to go through the PITA of changing account details with all too many companies.

There has to be a better way than forcing consumers to go through the hell of re-affirming their credentials because the credit card company changes your number.

Yeah, this is a sort of a rant, one induced by frustration, indeed, but also by the process that benefits the bank and makes the customer do more hoop jumping than necessary.

In my upcoming book, Advanced Time Based Security, I will endeavor to explain to the credit card industry how to help their customers suffer less hassle and degradation when their details are compromised. This process MUST be changed; can you imagine if tens of millions of accounts were suddenly flagged as ‘fraud’? How long would that backlog take to repair?

There is a way. Mathematically provable. Remove Fraud. All I have to do is finish the book.

Winn Schwartau

President & Founder at SAC
Winn Schwartau is one of the world's top recognized experts on security, privacy, infowar, cyber-terrorism, and related topics. Winn is gifted at making highly technical security subjects understandable and entertaining & has authored more than 12 security books.