Phishing Expedition, Dealt With Expeditiously

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Citibank calls me on my cell phone in Sâo Paulo — it takes me a moment to process the fact that someone is talking to me on my Gradiente cell-phone in charmingly accented Amurrican — and asks, “You did not by any chance just charge $2,000 in southern Florida, did you?”

“Um, no. I am physically located in another hemisphere entirely.”

Our debit card data was apparently snagged by phishers and used to buy goods and services in the land of Wally Gator.

The system actually worked.

Citibank tumbled to the scam, saying it will make good our losses and go after the criminals.

As a vigilante consumer, I have been known to refer to the subprime mortgage-devastated global financial institution in the past as Shittybank, but I am counting this one in the customer-service win column.

I would bet you anything that the leak of our private account data came from my wife’s lousy-with-spyware Windows machine and not my Ubuntu-powered laptop. On the other hand, one has read lately of a scheme in which tech-savvy thieves have installed doctored ATMs that steal account data and forward it to accomplices.

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