Mrs ERJ directed me to ignore the cost of sending funds via MoneyGram. "Just get it done."
The on-line version of MoneyGram took about ten minutes to plow through. They extracted a great deal of personal information for cross-checks.
- Name of third grade teacher
- Mother's recipe for oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies
- List of street addresses where I lived in the past
- Number of times I have been indited for fraud
- Relationship to a non-existent person
- Addresses where I never lived.
I got a phone call five minutes after I thought I had a receipt that it was a done deal.
The woman on the other end of the phone attempted to disguise the fact that she was not proficient in English by speaking very rapidly.
She was not successful.
It took me more than a minute to deduce that she claimed to be calling from MoneyGram and that she needed to weasel more personal information out of me "to prevent fraud". I really needed Sarah Hoyt because I think the woman on the other end of the phone would have been comfortable speaking Portuguese than English.
Oddly, there was no "boiler room" back chatter noise and the woman refused to transfer me to another operator or a supervisor because of my "old ears" that do not hear well. The interaction did not have a very authentic feel.
She said she was going to bounce the transaction. I said, "Fine. Knock yourself out."
Sure enough, the MoneyGram transfer that I thought was a lock got bounced.
I thought, "To hell with it. I will do this at Walmart."
The wonderful woman behind the counter at the Charlotte, Michigan Walmart was gracious and helped me pick out the most economical way to send the money. It cost me $8 which I can tolerate way better than the $31 MoneyGram was going to soak me for. I got a text from Southern Belle twenty minutes after sending the money that she had it in-hand and was busy spending it.
From now on it will be Walmart-to-Walmart transfers.
The downside is that there is one more hackable database that has my personal data on profile.
And my mom is going to kill me if she ever finds out I leaked her cookie recipe.