Open Thread Wednesday 1/16/08


Whew! Runnin' late… soundin' great…. 

This week, a few ideas from "No One of Consequence" to get you thinkin':

Gristedes: They're moving everything around on the shelves. It's so confusing. I haven't yet been able to figure out the logic behind the new product locations. Not that the store was very well organized before, but this somehow seems worse. Maybe I'm just getting old and resisting change.

The scaffolding (technically "Sidewalk Bridge") is being removed from Pineapple Walk.

Also — Brooklyn Heights Cinema to expandBrooklyn Heights #2 in parking tickets, Wine Bar opens at 50 Henry Street

…and whatever else is on your mind! 

Flickr photo by digiart2001

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  • B-Ware

    Credit Card Fraud in Nabe – check out the discussion on the gowanus lounge and brooklynian (park slope) pages. Someone is creating new cards and running them through all over the country (FL and TX for me)and there are widespread pockets of fraud in the Heights and the Slope (one of my cards and two of my wifes we compromised). Its disturbing that there are a few local businesses that all of our activity overlaps, but I won’t name names for fear of outing an innocent party. Beware!

  • lifer

    The funniest thing was last week on Gowanuslounge there was a thread where people were bitching at the lack of restaurants and bars that TAKE credit cards…(fog horn noise) wah wahh

  • MM

    In December I had my Visa the subject to credit card fraud..lucky caught right away…and all the purchases made were at a SuperWalmart in Tampa. I had immediately wondered if it was from Kyoto sushi who I had ordered from on solely because I ordered from them the same day as the fraud & because while I used my Discover card on, they called me to tell me they didn’t use Discover (both and their menu say they do.) Yes, I know it was stupid of me to have then given them a second credit card number, it just was one of those nights where I wasn’t on my guard. Anyway, if they’re creating new physical cards, it’s likely that it wasn’t them and that it was someone else. Anyway, I’m not accusing Kyoto, just saying it was my thought process at the time.
    Was just contributing that I live in the nabe & was victim of credit card fraud recently, with the fraudulent purchases in Florida, and that I might rethink using credit cards for everything. It is much more convenient & in the winter I’m less encouraged to walk out of my way to get cash. As much as everyone bemoans Montague being covered in banks–which I agree is annoying–I don’t live right off Montague and there are no ATMs that are within my usual routes. Is it the end of the world? No, just when I’m running late & know I can always use a credit card, tend to just choose that.

  • Pineapple

    B-Ware: My wife and I have also had our credit card numbers stolen twice in the past 3 months. Each time the person used the numbers to purchase around 50 dollars worth of goods at gas stations in FL. Want to compare were we shop in the heights?

  • bhbabe

    It happened to me, too… It was my debit card & someone used my number to pay a bill via phone in California… I know where I’ve used that card :(

  • sue

    Both my mom and my sister were victims of identity theft, with similar results — charges made to Walmart, and gas stations in Florida.

  • jderr

    Same thing happened to me. There’s a article on the Consumerist that has a running thread of it all. The fraud specialist I talked at my bank indicated a breach at a regonial credit processor.

  • HDEB

    Add me to the list of Heights residents who’ve had their card used fraudulently in FL in 07′. Twice last year I think. Happens every year to me.
    Just got my credit report and I have accounts open at addresses I’ve never lived at.
    I can’t think of a solution, I’m not going to stop using debit/credit cards.

    Fun stuff!

  • Dan

    Quick topic change from fraud… Everyone agrees that Gristedes is a nightmare. Does anyone know how to reach the landlord with comments/suggestions? There are some other regional supermarket chains in New York that are terrific (prices might be a drop higher, but product is fresh and customer service is king) that would be a great fit for BH.

  • fishermb

    Anyone try out 50 Henry yet?

    I finally got around to trying out Oven this past weekend, there’s a $26.99 coupon in Clipper Magazine from like 2 or 3 weeks ago, good for 2 salads or appetizers, plus 2 pizzas, really good deal. Anyways, the food was pretty solid, I would go back, though certainly don’t need that much food for 2. I had the mussels, my friend the caesar salad, and each barely finished half a pizza.

  • GHB

    Another Heights resident who had their VISA compromised…to the tune of 2K! At Walmarts in South Carolina (two places that I would avoid at all costs!)

  • nabeguy

    Amex and MC for both me and my wife…and yes both charges were in Florida, and at WalMart. Jeez, if you’re going to be a thieving snowbird, at least show a bit more class and shop at Neiman’s, for goodness sake. You’re giving everyone a bad reputaition!

  • bklynchick

    I also had my card number stolen in November; purchases made at a gas station in Miami and ten separate purchases at Home Depot in Hialeah, FL. What’s up with all the fraudulent use in Florida? Anybody know? And if anybody has any ideas as to which Heights merchants might be stealing the credit card numbers, please post. I don’t want to have to go through this again.

  • ABC

    had charges on my visa — or so I was told. cc company called me, asked me if I’d make the charges, said no, they took them off my account and they never even made it onto my statement.

  • Troubled Reader

    I live in the Heights. In November my debit card was compromised and hundreds of dollars spent in Florida (at CVS, Winn Dixie, etc), but the bank gave me all the money back pretty quickly. On Monday, Citibank called me to tell me that my MasterCard had been compromised!

  • JL

    Wow, so glad I saw this thread. Last week I got an email from AMEX (not sure why they didn’t call) about my card being used at a Winn Dixie supermarket in West Palm Beach. (I told that guy that it was unfortunate that I wasn’t actually there :)). Card cancelled, new one on the way. No charges for me.

  • No One Of Consequence

    The management office for 101 Clark St (aka Gristede’s Landlord):

    But who knows how far that will get you. If Gristede’s has a lease and pays the rent what would compel them to seek a new tenant?

    One might find marginally more success in calling the Gristede’s corporate office and telling them that the store is an embarrassment to their good corporate image (just how good is Gristede’s corporate image anyways?).

    As much as I don’t like it, it is convenient, caveat emptor, and at least it’s not a Sloane’s.

  • Annie

    My MasterCard number was also stolen, and used to purchase about $1,000. worth of gas in Florida over Thanksgiving week 2007. (I was away for the holiday, so I didn’t get the phone calls from the bank which flagged the suspicious charges for almost a week.)

    The card was never lost or out of my hands for more than a few seconds for a clerk to swipe it in front of me.

    The bank’s customer service rep. told me that the thief had a physical copy of the fake card, (used exclusively in FL gas stations).

    I know that the banks will investigate and reimburse the fraudulent charges, but it’s so irksome, especially when it’s happened to me twice in one year! Anyone want to compare notes on where we’ve used the stolen cards in the Heights in the past 6 – 12 months?

  • MM

    I too would be interested in knowing possibilities of common merchants where stolen cards were used. I know a lot of boards don’t want to have users naming merchants so as not to punish the innocent, which I don’t want to do either, but at the same time I’m sure we’d all like an idea of which merchants are likely possibilities so we know to keep an eye out or avoid them. Any suggestions on how to go about this?

  • Billy

    For heavens sake tell us where you think you used the card
    and the numbers were stolen. It is just a guess. You would not be making any hard accusations. Maybe we could find something our here by comparing notes. Why is everyone so reluctant to get into the details?

  • Mike

    Perhaps all these people should make their complaints to the appropriate authorities. This is not the place.

  • B-ware

    There is a detective in the Slope that is collecting info about local merchants. Details are on gowanus lounge and the brooklynian pages. I don’t want to speculate otherwise about merchants b/c there are too many overlaps. I do like jderr’s explanation though – makes the most sense given the fraud effecting folks in varying hoods i.e. the Heights, Slope, Kensington, etc.

  • Andrew Porter

    Dear No One: Hate to tell you, but Sloane’s and Gristede’s have the same corporate ownership. I seldom go into the store, though I live half a block away, because prices are much higher than anywhere else, including the Montague Key Food, and the place smells. Literally. What happens is the place gets older and more tired and dirtier, and then, instead of doing any cleaning, they close down for several weeks, repaint it and clean it up, and the same thing starts all over again. This has happened several times over the years it’s been open.

  • Teddy

    Some skimmers were probably used in the Heights & Park Slope. I bet it’s a restaurant where most of you guys used your cards last year. Last year I read about illegal service workers who were arrested for their involvement in a skimming operation in Florida. Florida seems to be a hotbed of credit card fraud. It could also be a breach at a regional credit processor like jderr stated above.

    More about skimming:

  • Dan

    Thanks NOOC and Andrew. I agree it’s a very long shot, but it can’t hurt…

  • GHB

    The banks (in my case Chase) are pretty good at flagging and investigating these fraudulent charges. It’s just a pain in the ass to have to fill out the forms, make phone calls, etc. But the charges will be erased eventually. It generally takes about 2 billing cycles to get it cleared up. I wonder if it’s a Heights thing, or an all-over kind of thing. I know lots of people outside the Heights who’ve been through this as well. And all the charges are in the South. Seems to be mostly gas or Walmart. As a New Yorker, I haven’t bought gas since the ’80s!

  • Cranky

    Oh my god, that happened to me. Somebody was using my card at a gas station in Florida. I heard there were a few local merchants (that I won’t name) being investigated. I was told to avoid using my card when buying alcohol.

  • Cranky

    Oh and the reason I was told not to name them is that they are being investigated and it would compromise the investigation.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Well, that does narrow the field a bit.

  • jderr

    @ GHB

    It looks bigger than just the Heights. (If these are indeed connected as they appear to be.)