Via movie critic extraordinaire and frequent Hit & Run commenter Alan Vanneman comes this tale, originally from the Providence Journal, about how homeland security intersects with paying down credit card debt. Walter and Deana Soehnge are retirees who tried to pay off $6,522 on their JC Penney MasterCard. When the balance didn't go down, they called to find out what was up:
They both learned the same astounding piece of information about the little things that can set the threat sensors to beeping and blinking.
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.
Whole bit here.