So, I'm closing in on 37 weeks. About time to start nesting, n'est pas?
The crib we have for MetaToddler converts into a toddler bed, so he'll be keeping that one. We'll need a new bed for our new Wee one, which we'll call M2 (as in Meta 2) for now. Thought about Wee 2, or W2, but that seemed to close to Wii...which might confuse some people (you know who you are).
Anyway, I order the crib online at www.BabyAge.com. I've heard of the site in a few places, they've been around for a while, and I know they sell through Amazon, so I thought "why not." Free shipping, no tax, and the crib retails for the same price everywhere. Once I placed my order, I saw a strange pop up message that requested more information in order to fulfill my order. I click on it, and it requested the last four digits of my social security number and my year of birth. That screams alarm bells, but I'd already placed my order at that point. I decide to ignore it and see what happens.
The next day, I receive an email message asking that I call Baby Age in order to provide some information before they can complete my order.
I call, but I'm already annoyed. Sure enough, they ask me for my social and year of birth. I ask them why they need it, and they say that this is risk management because I'm making a large purchase. *Just the other day I stopped a fraudulent order by doing this* blah, blah. I say "I'm not comfortable providing that information. Are you saying that I can either provide my private information or cancel my order?" He said "yes." So, I canceled my order.
I then called American Express, and they said:
1) I was right to not provide the vendor with that information.
2) Vendors can ask for things like the security code on the card or your zip code, but not your SSN or year of birth.
3) BabyAge already put a charge through on my card, so keep an eye on the card to make sure they cancel it immediately.
Unfortunately, when I found out that the charge had been put through, it was too late to call Baby Age again. However, I will follow up with them to assure they have canceled my order and refunded my card. I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that the credit will not be a problem. That said, American Express has been great when dealing with shady vendors and/or charges in the past, so I'm expecting them to be just as great this time :-)
Of course, after the fact I search on Google and find they make a practice of asking for credit card holder's social security number. How is this not phishing? Baby Age didn't have this info to verify it against my answers. How is this managing risk? After providing this info, they would have had my name, address, phone, email, credit card, last four of my SSN, and my year of birth. What else would they need to steal my identity? After all, American Express only asks for the last four of my SSN in order to access my account history.
Hopefully you don't have to deal with any vendors like these, but always be on the lookout for people who ask too much information. Never, ever give out any digits of your social or your year of birth, which is harder to get than the day and month of your birth. And never provide any information to people who call you. I once had Aetna call me to verify who I was. I asked them "I need to verify who you are first!"