Pay too much and you could raise the alarm

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by JGrubbs, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. JGrubbs

    JGrubbs
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    Walter Soehnge is a retired Texas schoolteacher who traveled north with his wife, Deana, saw summer change to fall in Rhode Island and decided this was a place to stay for a while.

    <snip>

    They paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.

    And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable.

    And all they did was pay down their debt. They didn't call a suspected terrorist on their cell phone. They didn't try to sneak a machine gun through customs.

    They just paid a hefty chunk of their credit card balance. And they learned how frighteningly wide the net of suspicion has been cast.

    After sending in the check, they checked online to see if their account had been duly credited. They learned that the check had arrived, but the amount available for credit on their account hadn't changed.

    So Deana Soehnge called the credit-card company. Then Walter called.

    "When you mess with my money, I want to know why," he said.

    They both learned the same astounding piece of information about the little things that can set the threat sensors to beeping and blinking.

    They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.

    Source: Scripps Howard News Service
     
  2. StefanM

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    *we must not question our government. it is always right. we must never question our government.*

    Repeat.
     
  3. poncho

    poncho
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    All hail the Patriot Act(s) we're safe from terrorism as long as the government has the right to know every little thing about us and search us without warrants.

    This is just the begining. Welfare Triumphs!
     
  4. gtbuzzarp

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    I recently paid off a much larger chunk of debt
    and nothing remotely like that happened. No delay in credit to my account. I've also gone from paying minimum payments on a CC within the last 1.5 years with about a $6500 balance to paying the entire balance off at once, and not run into the problems described in this article.

    If the DHS things is true, I would suspect it would have happened to me too. Not that it proves the article to be false, just makes me very suspicious.
     
  5. poncho

    poncho
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    Hint, read the back pages of the newspapers for the real stories.
     
  6. The Galatian

    The Galatian
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    This is how it starts. They aren't going to immediately run everyone off to the Gulag. Stalin didn't do that, either. But the terrifying thing about it is the apparent randomness with which an ordinary citizen might suddenly become a "person of interest" to the state.

    And randomness is all it takes. It cows a population, and makes them desperate to fit in and not stand out in any way that might draw the attention of Homeland Security.
     
  7. poncho

    poncho
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    Conform or else in other words. Freedom is slavery.
     
  8. saturneptune

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    I have heard rumors for years there are armed militas in the backwoods just waiting for an excuse to take on the govt.
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    My wife and I recently paid a credit card off, over $6500, and nothing like it has happened. No gulags, no security threat, no withheld monies.....

    No first-person reports, again, eh ? This person said someone else had problems.
     
  10. standingfirminChrist

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    Curtis, I have a card that is run up 6500, I'll send it over. lol

    ...oops, forgot the period. makes a difference. lol
    65.00
     
  11. hillclimber

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    It seems logical to me that something extraordinary might be afoot. I'm glad they red flagged Walter, showing that there are those that watch out for potential skulduggery.

    Were I Walter, I'd insist my paydown be credited as of the date it was received though.
     
  12. The Galatian

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    Wouldn't it be interesting to know what it was about Walter that made him different? Or do they just sample from time to time?

    Of course the MasterCard people may think that paying off debt deprives them of all that nice interest, and is surely sign of antiAmericanism.

    Bush is always in favor of a pro-business climate.
     
  13. rsr

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    Cute story. Unfortunately, this is one of those that can drive a good reporter crazy.

    1. The only source is, of course, Soehnge. No one from MasterCard or Homeland Security has avowed anything. To be expected. MasterCard can't comment on such things because of privacy laws and Homeland Security could decline on grounds of national defense. The fact is, there is no corroboration. Happens lots of times. Bob Kerr decided, as a columnist, it wasn't necessary. Soehnge, of course, may be telling the truth. There's no way to tell.

    2. Smells like typical bureaucratic dodging found in large organizations. Get a complaint? Blame the government. If you've dealt with many consumer call centers, you suspect that you're not always getting the straight scoop — just something that will get you off their backs.

    3. The rules of credit scoring are arcane. Paying off debt or closing accounts, because of the scoring system, may actually reduce your credit rating.

    4. Apparently, Kerr did not do any research into the Bank Privacy Act or contact Homeland Security to ask about such transactions.

    5. There is a comparison of what appears to be apples and oranges.

    "After sending in the check, they checked online to see if their account had been duly credited. They learned that the check had arrived, but the amount available for credit on their account hadn't changed.

    .. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted."

    Not at all the same thing. The money was credited to the account; the credit limit wasn't adjusted. Apparently, money did move.

    Now, the story may be true as told, but we have no way to know if it is. I am no fan of the new security laws, but there's not enough here to know what happened and why.
     

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