Because they hate freedom! And debt!

It seems that there’s a new way to become suspected of being a terrorist – try to pay off your credit cards. At a time when debt is all-American, the Department of Homeland Security gets called in if you try to balance your personal budget.

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… 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. [Link]


p>DHS got notified for a measily $6,522 payment? I mean, I’m sure that Al Qaeda loves shopping at J.C. Penny, but still. And this happened to a white family with nothing else “suspicious” in their background. Heck, they were even from Texas (although they left after they retired). Can you imagine if they had an accent? Or a furrin’ name?


p>Here’s my favorite part:

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…the money doesn’t move until the threat alert is lifted. [Link]

That’s right – not only does DHS get involved, but they stop your payment from going through. You’re performing a legitimate commercial transaction, and they’re preventing it. Do they pay your interest during the period that they’re pondering how much of a threat you pose to the country? What happens if they don’t get around to making a decision right away? Hey, if you have nothing to hide, why are you complaining? [Via Ishbadiddle]

8 thoughts on “Because they hate freedom! And debt!

  1. wow you guys wont let the govt do anything to protect you… our so called “freedoms” have gotten to our heads… grow up and learn some civic responsibility

  2. I wonder if the consumer is charged late fees, even though payment was received on time. If DHS holds up the transaction posting, will they clear up the mention on your credit report?

  3. Just wanted to share my proud feelings after watching President Bush extend his hand in friendship to India, a long-overdue statement from America, but one Bush himself, as I understand it, has been seeking to make, together with the announcement of strategic deals on trade and acceptance of India’s nuclear position, for many years.

    A great day for our two countries and their increasingly warm relationship.


  4. A friend of mine pointed out that we shouldn’t rush to judgement until we have something more than just this guy’s account of the matter. On the other hand, I doubt DHS wants to announce the levels of money transfer that attract their scrutiny. So maybe we should just take it all with a grain of salt pending future related occurrences.

  5. DHS got notified for a measily $6,522 payment? Shocking !!! $6,522 ?? thats it?

    given the amount of debt that the average american carries, I’d say $6500 is pretty noteworthy.

  6. Ah – but is it noteworthy for terrorists? I mean, if somebody is planning an attack, will they do it by running up a JC Penny bill, and paying off some of the balance?

    I know where this is coming from – I heard that at one point some terrorist groups overpaid their credit card balances as a way to transfer money without falling foul of the automatic reporting of cash deposits more than $10,000. Still, this is a stretch. This wasn’t a cash payment, and it was far short of $10,000.