After living here in Hungary for almost ten years now, my credit card numbers have been stolen 9 times. Let me repeat that. The credit card numbers have been stolen 9 times. However, all 9 times, they have been ‘borrowed’ within the borders of the United States. Take notice: I have not set foot on U.S. soil since January 2003. Were these hints that I have been missed. “Wish you were here so we could do worse to you.”
In addition to my identity theft through plastic, someone had the audacity to forge one of our California B of A checks, not an original, but a copy. They made it out for $2,000, signed Ron’s name, but not even closely resembling Ron’s signature, and then they cashed it at a B of A in Georgia. The bank cashing the check never asked for ID it turns out, but B of A took 3 months for their ‘investigation’ before returning our money.
Never, ever, ever have we had problems outside of the U.S. until yesterday. Ron tried logging into our Citibank account here in Budapest to pay bills. He could not access the system. After multiple tries, he called the bank. They verbally pummeled him with security questions. What is your account number? How many names on the account? What is your mother’s paternal grandmother’s middle name? What was your foot size at birth? How many words could you speak by the age of 4 years old?
When I came home and looked at him, I had thought he had been mugged by feral animals without claws. All of that talking drained him of his strength. He needed to be recharged. It turned out that his ATM card number was stolen. The ATM card that he has only used 4 times in 9+ years and it was stolen. When they asked if he withdrew 2 million Huf, I choked and laughed. If we had that kind of money, we would be on vacation right now.
It looks like Hungary may just be starting to catch up with the U.S. on these types of fraud. Just like Hungary to be late for everything.