A Rhode Island man tried to pay off a credit card debt, but his transaction was flagged as a potential terrorist transaction.

They paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.

They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.

Besides the inconvenience, this doesn't exactly strike me as a well-reasoned security measure. First of all, if I were a terrorist, I don't think I'd use my credit card much, considering how easy it is to track purchases. And if I did use it, I don't think I would be all that concerned with my credit score to actually pay it off. More to the point though, even if the terrorists are somehow laundering money through credit card payments, it seems like we should be more concerned with the initial purchases.

Am I missing something here?

Then again, I can't think of a more anti-American act than paying off debt.


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