Citibank Thinks Donating to the Red Cross is “High-Risk Activity”

We recently bought a computer with a credit card and received a call confirming that we did, indeed, want a computer. We thought this was slightly annoying but nice, and appropriate because we don’t go around buying computers every day. The credit card company (not Citi) didn’t, however, stop the charge from going through. They just called us later. Not so for the blogger at Fivecentnickle.com. He tried to donate to the Red Cross with his Citi credit card. They stopped the charge, didn’t inform him right away that it hadn’t gone through, and, since it was the last day of the year, now Mr. Nickle might not get his charitable deduction for 2006.

Rather than phone Mr. Nickle about their suspicions that he was a tightwad who would never willingly donate to charity, Citi left a note on his account.

    A review of this account has shown recent high-risk activity. Please contact our Customer Service Unit at 1-800-950-5114.

Good job, Citi. As Mr. Nickle said, “While I’m all for fraud prevention, this is way overboard.” Would it have been so difficult to call? —MEGHANN MARCO

Citibank Refused to Process our Red Cross Donation [Fivecentnickle] (Thanks, Ashley!)