As you know, I run a business with my ex.
About a week ago I needed to make some purchases for the business from Amazon. Now, as it happens, this isn’t something I do very often. The last time I used the business debit card with Amazon was back in November.
I placed my order. I got the acknowledgements. All seemed well – then I got an email saying that there had been unauthorised activity on my account.
Well, OK, there had conceivably been unusual activity on the account, granted I hadn’t bought anything since November – but unauthorised? No!! This IS me.
And really – November? If I haven’t been in to M&S for six months, they don’t stop me at the door and refuse to sell me anything…
I reset all my passwords as requested, and tried again. This time I split my purchases up into smaller bundles.
Bundle #1 was fine – item has been ordered and delivered.
Bundle #2 was fine – item has been ordered and delivered.
Bundles #3, #4 and #5 – ‘There has been unauthorised activity on your account’. I rang them.
This IS me!
The lady I spoke to was lovely. The problem is that I’m buying vouchers and apparently this is a favourite way for fraudsters to launder money. I would get an email communication from them within 24 hours explaining the situation. Not ideal, but if that’s the system, that’s the system.
I did indeed get an email communication within 24 hours – it was a repeat of exactly the same email that I’d already received, telling me that there had been unauthorised activity on my account.
But this IS me…
So – if perfectly legitimate people can’t buy Amazon vouchers because they’re routinely used by fraudsters, the answer seems simple. Stop selling vouchers.
If you continue to sell vouchers, then let me buy them!! I’m not a fraudster.
This IS me!!
But it’s got me thinking. If Amazon refuses to accept that these transactions are legitimate, if they refuse to accept that what I’m doing is not fraudulent – how do I prove that I am who I say I am? How do I actually prove that I am me?
And I don’t know the answer to that. If, after I’ve been through all their security procedures, answered all their questions, remembered my mother’s shoe size and my first pet’s middle name, put all the right PINs in all the right places – if they still turn round and say ‘There has been unauthorised activity on your account’ how can I actually prove that there hasn’t been?
There’s no impartial arbiter, no judge or jury. Amazon are basically telling me that they don’t believe me when I tell them that the card I’m using is mine to use. As they are the ones that decide what the proof is, there’s nothing I can do. If they still won’t accept that these purchases are legitimate, even after I’ve been through all of their security, it raises two points.
- they don’t trust their own security and
- I can’t prove to them that they’re wrong
I find that quite worrying, on very many levels.
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