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My week began with a fraud alert. It seems someone had tried to charge my credit card and the card company sent me a notice immediately. That’s a really good thing. The circumstances around the attempted fraud are more than a little of concern since the charges apparently were at retail outlets where a physical card must be shown. Given that the card remains in my possession, that means someone not only stole my card number and codes, but created a fake physical card to present to the store clerk.

Long story short, the card has been cancelled and the charges are removed from my account.

Which gets me to India.

Calling the number on the back of my credit card got me through to a credit card fraud center, which as should surprise no one is located somewhere in India. India has become the focal point of much of the world’s call centers for a variety of financial and retail businesses. Since this occurred early on a Sunday morning my time, it was nice that there was someone in the world paying attention.

The woman who answered my call spoke perfect English with a slight Indian accent, and identified herself as Sunina or something like that. I didn’t actually catch it correctly but in my mind I heard Sunaina. Movie geeks might recognize that as the name of a character in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (and its sequel, the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), which takes place in India. Sunaina is the love interest of the hotel’s owner, and is played by model turned actress Tina Desai (aka, Tena Desae).

In the film she works as an operator in a call center.

So the entire time I was speaking with the woman at the credit card fraud center I was picturing the actress, who one might guess is amazingly attractive, friendly, competent, and accomplished. Here is an uncanny transference of a movie character into my experience with an equally pleasant Indian call center operator.

I’m thankful both for the efficiency and friendliness of the real call operator, and hope she doesn’t mind that she was blended into my my rather fantastical vision of an actress playing a role.

I’m still without a credit card, but at least the experience of being defrauded was somehow not unpleasant.

© David J. Kent 2015

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (Fall River Press) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is about Thomas Edison, due in Barnes and Noble stores in 2016.

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