At the office doing some research yesterday, I received an “Unknown” call. At first glance I figured if you want to be unknown, you don’t want to talk to me. Come to discover after a short voice mail, it was my credit card company with a fraud alert. Leaving a case number, he asked for a return call as soon as possible. I went online to check my card and noticed two charges from a vendor I didn’t recognize. I returned the call to the fraud specialist. Apparently, someone in Detroit, Michigan was charging gas (I guess) at a $100.00 a clip. Obviously, I denied the charges, as I’ve not been in Detroit this week. Actually, I can’t remember every being in Detroit. As protocol goes, the company put a hold on your account and issued a new card and number.
This was a first for me. I don’t ever remember having my number stolen and used by an unauthorized user. While I won’t be liable for the charges, I know that someone will be – either the vendor (Citgo) or the card company. I’m sorry for both of these. But, actually, I feel sorry for the individual(s) that knowingly swiped the card using a stolen number. The moment they used the card, they committed a crime. Somewhere along the way a regular person found himself or herself in a place of desperation to choose criminal activity to fund their existence. Was this their first swipe, second, third, hundredth, or thousandth time? Do you become calloused to the activity or still look over your shoulder? Do they have kids, a family, or a sick relative? Were they caught up in the downturn of the Detroit economy – perhaps a former automotive manufacturer employee? Is it a store employee? I don’t know and probably will never.
One thing is for sure, I feel sorry for this person who chose this path – that life’s situation would influence someone enough to cross over the line between right and wrong. I pray for this person and for their family that will live with the consequence once caught.