Thank you Chase for scaring the snot out of me

On Friday morning after walking the dog, I saw I had received a voicemail from Chase.  They were calling in regards to some recent online activity.  That didn’t sound good.  I tried to log into my account and found this:


Uh oh.

I’ve written before about Chase shutting down accounts.  If you’re a bad credit risk, or you get too greedy with their perks, you could be in danger.  For details, see: “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).” Did this happen to me?

I know I’m not a bad credit risk.  I pay my bills in full every month.  I have an excellent credit score and a long spotless credit history.  Sure I’ve taken advantage of quite a few credit card sign-up offers, but not nearly as many as many others have, and my credit score has actually increased since I started.

What about “perk abuse”?  Have I been hitting Office Depot too hard with my Ink Bold?  I wrote recently about how to earn 5 points per dollar everywhere through an easy trick that involves buying reload cards at Office Depot (see “One card to rule them all”).  In that post, I also warned people not to go too far with this.  “You could get shut down,” I said…  Had that happened to me?  Had I gone too far?  I thought I was staying within limits that would keep me in Chase’s good graces.  I even wrote a love letter to the Ink Bold, for goodness sake!

I called Chase.  The first person I talked to didn’t see flags on any of my accounts, but she then transferred me to security.  My heart pounded like crazy.  “Please don’t shut me down, I promise I’ll be good!” I begged silently. 

Security made me prove my identity.  What year was your father born?  Which company in this list have you been affiliated with?  What was the first name of your first girlfriend?

I passed the tests.  They believed I was me.

It turns out that I had made a large transfer of funds from my new Chase checking account to my money market.  Oh yeah…  In my fear, I had forgotten about that….  They simply needed verify that it was me, and that I intended to do that.  YES! 

And, just like that, my account was restored.

I asked: Why had my account been frozen?  Three things: 1) This was the first transfer out of my checking account; 2) This was a large transfer; and 3) The request was made from a different IP address than I normally log-in with.  The first two reasons made sense to me.  The 3rd is strange since I had used the same laptop from the same home network that I almost always use.  Ah well, all is fine now.  My heartbeat rate is finally settling down from its all time high.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. This happened to me a few days ago. I couldn’t login so I called, and they said there was no security issue. A few minutes later I could login. Check the URL, in my case it said something about a negative IP address.

  2. A version of this happens when you log into your Chase accounts when traveling abroad.. They want to send you a security code every time you log in to verify it’s you. Tip: make sure to send the code to your email and not via a text to your phone to avoid the hefty text charges (unless using a foreign sim chip). It definitely slows down logging in every time but I know why they are doing it too…

    • Stacey: I was kidding about the girlfriend part…

      Gary: Ha!

      Mike: That explains it. Thanks.

      points machine: Thanks

      MS: Interesting, a negative IP address… An IP address in a bad mood?

      gpapadop: LOL. Don’t tell my wife. Oh, wait, especially don’t tell Ink Bold!

      Steelsnow: Thanks for the tip!

      Anne: Are you kidding?!

      KS: LOL!

  3. @All,
    AFAIK, they ask the only questions that we selected as security questions at the time of creating the online account!

    glad that it wasn’t a big deal…

    • Srini: Just to clarify, no they don’t use the security questions. They use information that is available from your credit report and potentially other public records.

  4. Yep, when I recently had dealing with Chase over reconsideration for an Ink Bold card, they asked a question like:

    “Which of the following cars have you ever owned, or none of them?”

    1994 Honda Accord
    2007 Ford Explorer
    2011 Toyota Prius

    New to me.

  5. here is a little bit of a similar story.
    i have multiple chase cards and chase checkings and always very low credit utilization rate and before due payments all the time. i make large purchases but pays few days later all the time.

    my wife has exact same thing but she hasn’t made any large purchases with her chase cards, specially not with freedom, we went to grocery store buy a store gift card for $500. manager comes and asks for ID and nonsense lecturing, then my wife pays with her freedom and gets declined. shocked and embarassed, we thought it was store computer that was rejecting the purchase, tried again and fails, then just ignored the $500 gift card and tried to pay $67 for grocery items and declined. then i payed gift card and grocery purchase with my freedom card instead and went right.
    as we stepped out of store, chase fraud dept calls ehr number but missed, i acted as her like i always do and called back, says everything between her and chase is good except the reason for decline was she never spend amount that large on her freedom card. hung up called customer service and gave an earful of complaint, the american rep says , you are our top customer and can’t imagine and udnerstand why it got declined and gives her 5k UR points (wooh) gives me fraud dept on 3 way calls. was told this wont happen again and said SORRY and i accepted their apology and got the 5k ur.
    lol! my trick


  7. FM – We’re happy to provide character witnesses (“he does not condone or participate in perk abuse”) if need be.

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