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Hair extensions, and how to get away with credit card fraud

Author: Jelisa Castrodale / Source: The NC Triad’s altweekly

I had no idea that hair extensions were so expensive. I’m scrolling through pages and pages of luxurious for-sale bundles of hair, each one radiating from a disembodied head. In the past hour, I’ve learned about lace frontals and closures, about how to mimic a natural hairline and the difference between a body wave and a beach wave. I’ve also learned that someone tried to buy $443 worth of both waves with my credit card.

This is the second large purchase that has been thrown toward my unsuspecting Visa balance, all without my consent. I knew something terrible had happened when my phone rang before 8 a.m. last Saturday morning. Actually, I knew something terrible had happened when my phone rang at all; my friends and I have reached the point where we communicate almost exclusively through Snapchat, mostly because it has a number of photo filters that smooth out our forehead wrinkles. Anyway, I answered the phone and someone from the credit card company asked if I’d just spent an even $100 at Sonic Drive-In. (And, honestly, based on the amount of Wendy’s meals that I end up paying 19 percent APR on, I’m surprised that they flagged that as fraudulent.) I told them no, they canceled the card, and I thought it was over.

Two days later, I found out about the hair extensions.

On Monday morning, the thief was still out there, using my account to fill in the holes in her patchy scalp. The owner of the hair extension website texted me and told me that my order hadn’t gone through. My order, because this nimble-fingered nightmare was using my contact information, spelling my name better than some men I’ve dated.

She’d texted me right at the start of my workday and, although I enjoy procrastinating, it’s more like Googling “Who sang the ‘Perfect Strangers’ theme song,” (David Pomeranz, btw) than spinning my office chair in slow, angry circles while I wait for a call back from the Winston-Salem Police Department. I finally talked to a bored-sounding civilian who takes calls on the non-emergency number, and she couldn’t have been less interested if I’d just dialed the department to tell them that I’d just seen a particularly large butterfly.

She dutifully took my information and punctuated most of my sentences with an audible sigh. “It’s fraud,” I said, using my best…

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