thieves

“Hunger makes a thief of any man.” – Pearl S. Buck

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of sorts, from planning back-to-school, a huge work meeting prep & execution, car trouble, medical findings, family sanity checks on the kids’ extra curriculars & how much (and of what) we can actually handle, and even a long weekend mini vaca to the nearby mountain resort town that I’d never been to but now want to live in.

It’s been tiring, stressful, relaxing, panicky, joyous and crazy.

The dust begins to settle… we turn back to our standard routines… I sing my 6 year old to sleep and begin to drift off myself…

In the middle of the night it hits. With a few swift, smart, agile and adept finger clicks – my entire bank account is emptied in one fell swoop. I awaken to emails & texts from my bank telling me that I’m overdrawn. I log in to see $0.00 staring back at me.

person wearing red hoodie
Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Pexels.com

I’m frantic. I’m crying. I’m on the phone with them as the kids are screaming about some *I$#()@! video game in the background and my husband rushes to quiet them down. It’s the 14th of the month and all my bills are due to come out of that account the following day.

The customer service agent on the phone reassures me. It’s all covered, she says, we’ll make it right.

She instructs me to get to the nearest branch ASAP – so there I am instead of at work, shutting down everything and recreating it. Making lists of what’s authorized and bleeding out all remaining funds in my possession to handle the gap from the theft through the investigative period to the point where I get my money back. Just promise to leave a little blood flowing so I can function…

My autistic 10 year old is now prepping for world’s end, assuming we’ll lose our house and have to live in a tent & grow all our food – up on the mountain at his favorite camping spot, of course. Plus, he envisions tourists because he’s planning some guided hikes or something of that nature. The 6 year old thinks there’s no Christmas, and my oldest is prepping to give me back his allowance. OH how I love these kids!

We are fine. We are well. We have been made whole again through the wonders of fraud protection and cyber-hacker security protocols. Of course, now that I’ve changed all account numbers and passwords and everything having to do with my money… I won’t be able to access it either!!

I am so grateful to the bankers, to the folks that created the systems to retrieve what was lost, to my husband for his undying support, to my friends who commiserated with me and then lifted my spirits once more. I am grateful for the opportunity to review my accounts and the security measures placed on them, after the rage-crying subsides. I am grateful that I was in a position to be able to bleed out a little to cover that gap, as I know many who are not as fortunate.

I can only pray for an unnamed someone who has lost their way, in hopes they don’t linger in darkness indefinitely.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “thieves

  1. Guh!! Yeah, someone used my papal card. People suck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OH NO! So sorry to hear that! Back in the day when I was a trusting soul and much younger, a group of us at work went out to lunch. The guy driving us was getting money for all of us out of the bank drive-thru ATM and stupidly, I gave him my password. Next thing I know, he doesn’t work there anymore and all of my money was gone out of my account. It was a lot to me, but in the scheme of things, not that much. Yep. The bank reimbursed me, thank God, but it was scary. That was in 1991 or 1992, maybe. Even now when I don’t share any of that information, the likelihood of getting hacked or having your identity stolen is unbelievable. Even if you do get your money back, as you said, you have to go back and rearrange your life on paper and AAAAAARRRRGGG! I so feel your pain right now. I’m glad you’ve got things settled. You’ve really got a great attitude and your kids sound precious and your husband sounds wonderful! Mona

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ahhh… naivety teaches us sooooo much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my! I JD no idea all of this was happening. So glad ghat you were made whole. I have Legal Sheild for this very reason. BTW….once again, great writing. No matter the subject my dear, you’ve got quite the gift. 👏

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for sharing what would have been a harrowing ordeal. Do you know how they were able to do this and what are you doing to ensure it doesn’t happen again based on advice you have received? I hope you don’t mind me asking.

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    1. I don’t mind at all! While the issue is still “under investigation”, we believe that it was an online store (PoshMark) that I used in the past that was hacked, and then was able to access my PayPal, which *was* linked to my bank account. It’s ridiculously difficult to negate all threat that’s out there. Some tips that I’ve been implementing are: 1. updating every password I’ve ever had (and making sure I update them more often) 2. Using my bank’s interface to pay my bills (outgoing from bank – 1 potential hack point), rather than using my credit card’s interface to pay it (incoming to bank – several potential hack points) 3. Closing that bank account (no-brainer there) 4. As Adrienne mentioned in her comment, investing in ‘hacker insurance’ which is so sad that there needs to be that kind of insurance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for taking the time to elaborate on what occurred and remedies you have taken to prevent it from happening again. It’s educational. It’s always very sobering to read of actual instances of credit card/data theft. Paypal seems quite vulnerable because I have read numerous accounts of people’s details being hacked on there. I have an account on there, but I haven’t linked my card or bank account as yet because to put it bluntly I’m afraid to. Someone once attempted to hack our card on Amazon.
        Thank you so much for providing those tips about how one can manage their finances safer online. My problem as a foreigner living in Colombia have been with ATMs (on average once per year) withdrawing funds from my account and not dispensing the actual physical cash. I’m currently in a payment dispute with a local bank over this at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Wow! I hope that turns in your favor! I feel like I’m fairly blind to what struggles other countries have – both in what relates to the same type of issues, and those issues that are unique to them. I used to get my card “read” and stolen at gas stations until I got myself an RFID wallet.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well it’s 400.00AU dollars which is a lot to me, but I’m a bit concerned since it has taken longer than other years to be recuperated by my Australian bank. It appears its not a country-wide problem since I haven’t heard of this happening to another Colombian. Lot’s of other financial scams occur to Colombians but not this one in particular. Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with details.
        I hope you don’t mind if I link your post to my next Monday post about ‘The week that was my digital world’. Your experiences and insights could prevent this from happening to someone else. Good luck to you as well as you recover and reestablish anew as it were after this horrible event. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

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