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]