How Do They Know?

A few months ago, Bill and I made the Big Move to combining our checking accounts. For the 30 years of our marriage, he has had his own checking account and I had my own checking account. When we were first married, I wanted to have an account independent of him because I had charges that dealt with my son Court. I assure you, it was never a matter of Bill questioning or judging any money I would have spent. It was just a THING with me, my way of maintaining some degree of independence, I guess.

However, since we are both retired, and I have taken over managing our finances (God help us all), it just seemed silly to have two accounts to worry about. It isn’t like he ever got mad at me for buying puzzles or I judged him for buying anything for his Ferrari. I just thought simplifying affairs made sense.

I think he’s having more time getting used to it than I am. Very often, if we are out to dinner, he will pull out his credit card, saying, “I’ll buy tonight.” I remind him that, while it’s a sweet thought, his credit card is being paid for out of the same account paying my credit card. Last time I reminded him of that, he answered, “Please, just let me pretend like I’m buying you dinner.” Isn’t that sweet?

Yesterday afternoon, I got online to check my email. To my surprise, there were two — count ’em — emails from Bank of America telling me our joint credit card had some suspicious activity, and asking someone to call ASAP. Someone was, of course, me, because Bill was in the garage replacing our back door which he had removed because the molding had gotten warped from the monsoon rains the so-called Valley of the Sun has been experiencing this winter and spring.

I called the number on the back of our joint credit card rather than the number on the email because BAD GUYS. I didn’t want to take a chance that a scammer just wanted me to call that number which would then get them access to, well, something. Don’t judge. I’m just a senior citizen trying to make good choices.

Anyhoo, the email was legitimate, because there was a charge that had been denied. It was for something called Challenge Body & Mind. It had apparently come just prior to me logging onto my computer, because Bill had successfully used his credit card at lunchtime at Home Depot and Ace. See above: fixing garage door.

The good news is that Bank of America was able to question whether Bill would have made a charge to something called Challenge Body & Mind and declined the charge. I frankly don’t know how they do that, but it’s very impressive. Home Depot and Ace — yes, Sir. Challenge Body & Mind, no way, Jose.

The result, of course, is that we had to cancel his card. Now it’s up to me to try and figure out what accounts are tied to that card. I am thankful that nearly all of our bills are paid from either our joint account or my credit card. Still, I have no doubt that as thorough as I will be, I will forget something and a bill will be unpaid.

Twenty-first Century and First World problems.

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