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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