Amidst wedding planning that involves the question "how the heck do we afford this?" something awful happened.
On Monday night while I flipped through wedding magazines with my sister someone went to an ATM and withdrew $400 from my savings account.
What's more shocking isn't that they stole $400 from me. It's that they did it with a bank debit card they stole before it ever reached my mailbox.
I have been struggling with the idea that someone stole from me. "I can't believe this happened to me!" A typical initial why me scenario. But my eyes have been opened.
According to the Bureau of Justice:
In 2010, 7.0% of households in the United States, or about 8.6 million households, had at least one member age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft victimization.
Among households in which at least one member experienced one or more types of identity theft, 64.1% experienced the misuse or attempted misuse of an existing credit card account in 2010.
Anyway, long story short...I found out about this within hours by mere accident. I happened to call my credit union Tuesday morning because my newly issued card never arrived. I called just a mere 10 hours after this slimeball went to a 7-11 on Titus Ave in Rochester-- probably bought a slurpy and lottery tickets...and walked casually out with my money. Had I not found it that morning they may have taken me for all I was worth.
Bye bye life savings. Bye bye funds for a wedding.
What still remains is how this happens. How someone stole my card...and also had access to the pin numbers in separately mailed unmarked envelopes. In the mail or before it even got to the mail truck?
I've done all the right things.
- The credit union immediately stopped the card in their possesion.
- I filed a police report.
- I filled out an affidavit with my credit union and had it notarized.
- I contacted my post office in person to report the possible theft.
- I've made an official report with the postal inspector
- I'm watching my account like a hawk
- My reissued card will be sent to the bank for pick-up (versus my house)
I want this person caught, but I have very little expectation this will happen. Right now the police say it's not their jurisdiction if it happened in the mail. The bank's fraud unit is supposedly on it.
The bureaucracy is tough to wade through as a victim. In the last 48 hours I've spent hours on the phone and in person doing all the right things...but knowing that as we sat on the doorstep of a federal holiday - hours will be lost.
The other steps I plan to take must wait until after the 4th of July. My paperwork will sit on a desk and another thief may get away with this.
I hope that's not the case but I have to be realistic.
I've had 2 sleepless nights- waking up with a start from a nightmare. I can't imagine how I'll feel safe again with my money or my identity. I check my bank account hourly. I wince at the thought of what could happen next.
My advice to all my friends and blog followers reading this- keep your eyes open and if this happens to you, act fast. It's a really crazy world out there.