Monday, December 3, 2007

Lightning Strikes Twice

Brace yourself for the mother of all rants. Just when I had gotten back my false sense of security, it happened again. Somebody at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA, is spending our hard earned money with wild abandon. Somebody is having a very merry one on the Toblers. Several thousand dollars so far at Armani, Gucci, Bloomingdale's, and my personal non-favorite: Footlocker. What a waste. Haute couture is one thing, but high tops and sports paraphanelia?!

So I'm enjoying a satisfying and somewhat nutritional bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats yesterday morning, and I hear Marc holler from upstairs: "Karen, did you spend $1,600 at Bloomingdale's yesterday?" With less than subtle tones of irritation. Urgency. Panic.

Sure. I wish. On a Sunday when Marc was on call and I was sick at home with my kids alone except for the couple of hours I dragged my sorry rear to the church to teach 6 sweet but "special" 4-5 year olds. "Maybe a couple a' hundy at The Target last week combined", I'm thinking to myself. At this point the panic set in and we both knew exactly what had happened. Given how easy it is, we knew it was just a matter of time until we'd be scammed again. We've been on the phone all morning trying to minimize the damage, and have cancelled both our cards. (What will I use tonight for my Target run? A moot point.)

My mom was right again, blast it all to heck. Score: Mom 437 Karen 2. She had warned us that "those debit cards" are maybe not the best idea as a main source of paying for stuff, and that we should be careful.

WHY, in the name of all that is holy and good, does someone else get to shop at Gucci with our money and it's not me? I'm so hot under the collar about this, for obvious reasons. Apprently they actually counterfeited MY card. So when I'm at Chick-Fil-A (for example), and give them my debit card or one of the other 2867 places I use my debit card, some little nitwit copies my number and makes a fake card.

We've been S.U.C.K.A.S. before. Many of you may remember the "Great Break-In of 2004", where I actually found somebody hiding in my boy's (then four years old)closet while unpacking after we got home from vacation. We were living in Temple, Texas at the time, and I opened his closet to hang some stuff up and smelled her nasty cigarette smoke from her clothes and then I saw her feet under the Elmo chair. She had meticulously and ever-so-neatly folded up (in one of MY large Ziplock bags from MY kitchen) all our birth certificates, my passport, our social security cards, all our credit card statements with account #s, PINs, bank statements, etc. Every sensitive document that could've destroyed us financially. More embarrassing details on that episode later.

I don't want to feel like everybody is out to get us, but I've been left with no other choice but to obsess about my neuroses, which, according to Marc, are out of control already. Open to suggestions. Maybe I could use an extra lil' bit of "charity" in my stocking this year, because I ain't feeling any for the perps, and would frankly like to kick them in the nutter-butters if given the opportunity.


LCFrohm said...

You have got to be friggin' kidding me!!!!
What did you to do that person in your closet? I would have hauled off on their "nutter butters". Thanks for making me never want to live in Temple (not that there really ever was a desire!)
And now- I feel for you! If someone is going to go waste our hard earned money- it dang well better be ME!
You're making me think twice about that whole debit card thing too. I had just read something about how banks want you to use those because you go over your balance so easily. NOT A MENTION that they are so easily stolen.
I'd be rather BA-HUMBUG about it too.

lawtrix said...

How awful - I feel for you, fixing this stuff is never fun. Not that anything is foolproof, but if you decide to switch to credit cards, I recommend Citibank - their fraud protection has always been on the ball, they've taken off charges without a question, and they just stopped someone from charging $2000 on my Dad's card. Also, you've probably already done this, but you can pull a free copy of your credit report to make sure nothing worse has happened ( - this is the official site set up by the credit bureaus).

[BrookeO] said...

Holy Shut Up! (seems appropriate!) WTH even more first I thought you were kidding then I thought you were serious, then kidding again then I got scared and now I am really a wreck sitting here. Is this for reals? No seriously. AND the creep-o in the closet, did you pull her hair out or sink your teeth in...I want to hear more, but then again I don't. And Chick-Fil-A I have a year supply free, yes may be only using cash there from now on....good honk, this post needs a part two or to be continued...I would make you cookies if I could get them to you....Loves (although pretty sure that won't help!)

[BrookeO] said...

PS kids sidebar pictures are ca'ute, infact I am going back for a second look - - -

Becky said...

BUMMER!!! Sorry about that, girlfriend. That's the last thing you need at this busy time of year. I think that it's weird that they would have gone to those stores. If someone is really desperate, I would think they would be running to WalMart. I guess that goes to show you that someone knows what they are doing. Makes me crazy and MAD MAD MAD.


Gretchen said...

dude ... that suuuucks. I'm so sorry!

Why can't people just be nice? I'm so tired of mean people!

karen said...

BrookeO/Lindsay: nope, not kidding. I'll try to be brief: I was stunned into paralysis (you say "Oh, I'd do this or that..." but the reality is utter disbelief, like "you've gotta be playing a joke on me or something"--she was a blonde white 24 year old that coulda been my babysitter--didn't look like your typical thief), Marc was on Ambien sleeping and totally mentally incompetent(working nights), and we let her go. (this was before we found the handy dandy ziplock in the closet with all our compromising info). Stupid, I know. She had a semi-credible story that I so wanted to believe and I just wanted her out of my house. She was caught in somebody else's closet and let's just say she's serving a little time right now.

Becky: Don't you worry your pretty little head: The thievery DID indeed continue at the Wal-Mart, to the tune of $637.00. Probably video games/TVs. Gotta go call my bank to proceed with the rigamarole. (sp?)

Karie said...

Karen, just reading your post makes me so mad, for you and everyone else who gets their identity stolen. It's so lame!!! My kids are always perplexed at why someone would want to take something that is not theirs. It still boggles my mind! I usually run a credit report once a year and now I think I'm going to do it again (because I'm such a worry wart). So lame!!!!!!! Keep us posted.

Abbie Anna and Megan said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Makes me so mad!!!! If anyone deserves a shopping spree it is you-wish they would earn their own spending cash! Reading this post made me MISS you!

karen said...

OH, and it did NOT happen at Chick-Fil-A--that was just an example of the many places I use my debit! Don't want to give my fave Chick-Fil-A a bad rap...keep "eating mor chikin", please.

Nic at Nite said...

What in the ...? I can't believe it happeded again. To tell you the truth I am still in shock with your first bout- still even though you told me last year about it.
Tell me about your side bar pictures! I love, love, LOVE them!

Jeff Fuller said...

Scary stuff.

Hey, am I the first MAN to comment at your site? I guess being your cousin gives me an excuse.

Laura and I love reading your stuff! You are one funny writer.

Allie said...


I love your blog and your writing style and word choices. I wish I would of spent more time getting to know you during your stay in Iowa! Although I got a piece of you when teaching your kids in Primary!

I am not loving what happened to you, though. I am very sorry. That kind of stuff worries me all the time.

I am wondering what you would suggest for those of us who probably have all of our info in very easy to find places for freaks who think it is finders keepers? Do you have tips on where to keep these personal documents...other than guarded by a pitbull?

MarvelousMightyMommyMichele said...

It's a good thing there's no limit on comments to blog posts! I FIGURED IT OUT, I know why you keep getting hit by the "I can't believe this happened to me"'s because you don't forwards all those St***d e-mails that people keep sending me...sure, some are funny, but am I really going to have 5 years BAD LUCK if I don't send an e-mail. I'd love toknow the rest of this story, feel free to post more about it. Like 1. did they get away with this, where you are stuck with the bills or 2. does it depend on when you noticed this happening or when you KNOW it wasn't a charge you made and 3. did you have to get a lawyer involved?