A rabbi whose credit card information was stolen and used to make thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases said he was shocked when the issue he thought had been fixed left him with calls from debt collectors and even more fake charges on his account.
Rabbi Edwin Goldberg’s troubles started nine months ago, when he got an alarming credit card bill in the mail for thousands of dollars on a Macy’s American Express card. The problem? The charges weren’t his.
“It was very confusing,” Goldberg said.
The rabbi says he was quick to pick up the phone and call Macy’s to get the fraudulent charges removed.
“After a lot of time on the phone, I got them to admit it was not my issue and they would take care of it,” Goldberg said.
But just when he thought the problem had been solved, thousands of dollars in more charges appeared on his next bill. Oddly enough, all of the charges were made in Florida, a state Goldberg hadn’t set foot in for years. And many of the purchases were made at places he says he doesn’t frequent — like gas stations.
"Not only do I not live in Florida, but I don't even have a car,” Goldberg said.
NBC 5 Responds reported on another viewer’s similar struggle in March. Margaret Michalski’s Macy’s American Express Card was somehow used to reload Starbuck’s cards in Washington state.
“A total of $100 in Starbucks. So immediately I notified Macy’s,” Michalski recalled.
She says she was told the charges would be removed.
While both waited for the Macy’s fix, the out-of-state charges and fees kept piling on.
"Some of the bills were $3,000, $4,000. And then the next month would come and say you haven't paid so now you know it's $10,000. It's a lot of money,” Goldberg said.
The ultimate shocker? Both Michalski and Goldberg received unwelcome letters from a debt collectors.
"They suggested I call Macy's again, which I did,” Goldberg said. "I was just back in the circle of nothing ever actually changing."
It was a runaround that might have tested the patience of Job, and ultimately prompted the rabbi to reach out to NBC 5 Responds.
"It's making a victim into a victim, into a twice told victim, and that seems wrong,” Goldberg said.
NBC 5 Responds reached out to Macy’s, who said in a statement they “sincerely apologize” for the issues.
“We sincerely apologize to Rabbi Goldberg for the issues he experienced related to his credit account. While it was unfortunate that fraud charges were illegally made to his account, the process of verifying and clearing the charges took longer than it should have because of an unusual series of technical and human errors on our end, which caused the account to go into collection,” the statement said. “That said, Rabbi Goldberg has now been issued a new account and all fraudulent charges have been removed and credit bureaus notified.”
“We do encourage any customers who experience unusual account activity or suspicious charges to call us immediately using the number printed on the back of the credit card and to notify us in writing using the address on your credit card statement.
“We at Macy’s always aspire to create the best possible shopping and services experiences for our customers. When we fall short of that objective, we work to learn from the experience and adjust our internal processes and practices – which we have done in this case.”