This? Now?

"How do you know it was a phone sex number?" the cop asked. He was sitting on my couch, using my pen (he forgot his), and was taking down a report.

Let me rewind.

I got home. It was the usual stressful day. No sleep last night. To make it worse, this was the last time I was going to see my daughter for a few days. So, no, shit was not good. My answering machine was blinking when I got in. I usually don't check the calls right away, but felt the need to. It was my credit card company. A card, which was attached to a savings account, had some suspicious charges. I logged into the account and first saw that it had been drained. All my money I was saving for a plane trip, my daughter's Christmas presents, EC Archives books and so on, was gone. In their place were charges to various companies. Oh my fucking God.

A quick call to a woman in India yielded nothing. Another call to a man in Europe proved equally disastrous. A call to the credit card company got the card canceled, which screwed up my automatic billing. I started calling the companies that were on my statement. One company told me they'd do a reverse IP search, and I wished them luck. He suggested I file a police report, which I did.

"How did you know it was a phone sex number?" the cop asked.

"Because when I called it, it was a woman moaning. She later asked for my credit card number. I figure they got it once, I'm not giving it again."

He laughed. In his defense, he got there a few minutes after I called, and this is the beginning of the month. Meth money time. Eureka's finest are busy people this week, yet here he was taking a report on something we both knew would not produce any tangible results. The bottom line was I wanted my money back. And if someone catches who did it, I want their name(s) ... so I can cut them ear to ear ... and yeah, that's justified. Steal from me, I steal from you. I just go further.

But I know the odds. Slim to none the person would be caught. The person can't be that intelligent. (Who the hell pays for porn even with a stolen card number? The shit is free, like, everywhere.) But they are most likely smart enough to bounce around from IP to IP, and I suspect the customer service representative who told me that told me to scare me into admitting I did it myself. (It didn't work, for when he told me they do that IP search I said, "Good. Let's get the motherfucker.") I just want the card company to give me my money back so all this work I do isn't for nothing.

This topped an already piss ass few months of nothing but stress. Oh, and as for sleep. Already tried tonight. Not working. Too much of too much is being oh so much that ain't right. It's ten to midnight, and I gotta get up at five. Gotta face an uncertain job that I hate. Gotta face a good chunk of money blown away. Gotta face co-workers who think I'm not myself (and they aren't the only ones).

I'm not one to give up easily, but I am one to stop caring. When it comes, I hope nobody acts too surprised.


Nikki said...

Unfortunately, the chances that they'll catch the guy are slim to none. But that shouldn't matter. You're supposed to be protected against fraud and they WILL give you your money back. They have no choice. They have a zero liability policy, force them to honor it.

Tina said...

Hey Doug,

you should also try to find out how your sensitive details leaked. I am a freak when it comes to online security, although most of my friends minimize the threat. I guess it takes something like this to make people understand yes, this could also happen to you.


PS. I know, nothing to be cheerful about at the moment but, as I say whenever I lose money, "it's just money." And I am grateful it's not something more serious, such as the health of a dear one.

PPS. Nikki is right. You should be able to get your money back.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

A lot of it was money for my daughter's Christmas, though. And if they do catch the guy, and I get to know who it is, I'm going to make his/her life hell.

And I'll enjoy every minute of it.

Nikki said...

I shudder to think of what you'll do to the guy if you find out his identity. He'll deserve it though. Did I ever tell you about the time my mom had $13K stolen from her? Because she used one of the checks that come with a credit card and not the actual credit card, she was screwed. She never did get that back. She pressed charges and now gets about $5 every few months in restitution because the woman is on welfare with her ten children. The last one, she got knocked up to avoid going to prison for her scam. It garnered her some sympathy, and also a mandatory sterilization.

But again, you are protected and they will have no choice but to give you back your money. They may make you jump through hoops, which I think is utter crap on their part, but in the end, they HAVE to give it back to you. It's their policy.

-Doug Brunell "America's Favorite Son" said...

Thirteen grand? Holy fucking shit! I’d be wearing her skin.