Last night, I went to pay one of my credit card bills, but the balance seemed too high. I checked the activity and found a bunch of charges I didn’t recognize: several Uber rides, 5 transactions of exactly $25 at Starbucks (probably someone buying gift cards), a Sprint bill (I don’t have Sprint phone service), and a local dentist office that’s not my dentist. In total, $511.72 worth of shit.
My wife and I go to the same dentist, but lately she’s also going to an oral surgeon for some stuff and I didn’t know the name of the place, so I asked her if she’d been to this dentist. She had not. But she had a brilliant idea: “hey, maybe they’ll give you a name.”
Now, that hadn’t occurred to me at all, but I was like, “ooooh that’s an EXCELLENT idea!” First thing I did was call my credit card company to dispute all these charges. Then today I called this dentist. I gave them the date and amount of the transaction, and they said, “was it with this card ending in ____?” Why yes, yes it was.
The dentist wasn’t happy about having been duped with a stolen credit card, so he said he could give me this person’s name but no other info because of HIPAA. I told him that’s fine and I would file a police report. He said he’d be happy to provide the cops with all of this person’s identifying info including social security number.
Turns out, this person had gone in to this dentist one time for a cleaning, never paid the bill, got sent to collections, tried to pay with a check that bounced, then called in and provided my credit card number which the dentist office entered into the payment terminal manually. Since they were ringing it up like that, they didn’t need to enter a name or anything else.
Then I called the police non-emergency line, and they said since I have a name they need an officer to take a statement from me in person, not over the phone. They offered to send someone to my office. I said sure, but asked if they could call me when they get to the building so I could go downstairs and talk to them in the lobby.
A couple hours passed, and then the receptionist here came back to my desk, “uhh, there’s a police officer here asking to speak to you...?” So much for avoiding making a scene at work. But I explained what I knew, gave him a printout of my credit card statement with the fraudulent charges highlighted, and the person’s name.
Now they’re going to have a detective follow up with the dentist, and also possibly subpoena Uber and Sprint for additional information.
Generally speaking I don’t exactly like the cops, but damn if this wasn’t satisfying as hell to use them to fuck with this person who tried to steal my shit.
Moral of the story is, if you’re going to use a stolen credit card, it’s probably best to not use it to pay off a dentist who knows your social security number.
UPDATE: The cop just called me back. Turns out this guy has been reported multiple times for financial fraud, passing bad checks, etc. He’s even tried stealing checks from a dead person’s account. The cop asked if I had ever patronized a couple places they know this guy to have worked, but I haven’t. But there’s plenty there to make a case against the guy.