Friday, October 28, 2016

Thou Shall Not

This morning HB and I were talking.  He mentioned something about lying and then I asked him he lied.  "I try not to," he said.  I was a little taken aback by this.  Autistics tend to see the world in black and white.  He's also not the type to lie even if it means he will get into trouble.  It's actually one of the most appealing things about him.

"Well, when have you lied?" I asked him.  "Give me an example."

"Well, I said that I was going to be good once to the art teacher.  But then my body wouldn't let me and I got white (angry) and I wasn't good," he explained.

After a series of questions, I determined that he was talking about the art teacher from over the summer at a different school.

"Technically, you didn't lie," I told him.  "You said what you said because you wanted to be good, but then things happened and you couldn't.  It would be like me saying 'I'm going to go to the grocery store today.' but then something happens to car preventing me from going.  I didn't lie because I was intending to go.  You didn't lie either because you were really trying to be good but your body wouldn't let you."

"Oh," he said mulling this new piece of information over. "I will tell him the next time I see him so he knows that I didn't lie because he told me that I did."

Apparently the art teacher was a bit hasty in determining that HB was lying.  Many times we say things about the future, but then we change our minds (particularly when more information is reveled) or it becomes impossible to do.  These aren't lies.  Lying about something in the past is a bit more black and white than lying about things in the future.

Wednesday I discovered an anomaly in an account that I rarely use.  Someone had wiped out all the money in it which was about 900.  They used the money to make charges to rent some house or cabin and to buy pizza.  All of it was online and I've never used either of the companies.  And they did it while my debit card sat nestled in my wallet.

Fortunately my credit union has credited my account and issued me a new debit card (with a new number).  I wish I could say that this hasn't happened before, but that's not true.  In the other instance it was a credit card and the company caught it as it happened because the transactions were taking place in a different state.

That same morning the police in a neighboring suburb alerted people that one of the gas stations noticed a card reader placed at the pump.  They were warning people to look for any suspicious activity on their credit cards/debit cards.

What thieves are doing these days is simply cloning your cards.  So the easiest way to deal with such a thing is:
1) Use credit.  Even if you only have a debit card, do not enter in a pin number.  The reason why I realized the person or persons stole from me was because they didn't know how much was in my account and had activated an over draft charge.  The credit union then sent me a letter in the mail about the over draft.  It didn't make sense so I called them and they told me about the charges, which were three that had wiped out the account.

2) Check your statements frequently- My credit union can only pursue fraud if the charges happened within 90 days.  If I hadn't caught it when I did, I could have lost every penny.

3) Update your information- If you move, change e-mails or phone numbers you should alert your debit/credit card companies.  It makes it easier for them to contact you should they notice something odd.

4) Pull up your credit scores- This isn't really credit/debit fraud, but it's related identity theft.  If anyone knows enough information about you, they can take a credit card out in your name without your knowledge. I've recently had my credit drawn up because we're in the process of buying a house, but those in the know suggest pulling it up once a year from Equafax etc.  If you know that this has happened before, experts suggest checking more frequently.

5) File a police report. The police may never figure out who stole from you, but you never know.  As in the case of the card reader, they may be able to track whoever put the card reader at the pump and when that took place by the number of fraud reports they have on record.

My credit union's fraud team plans on contacting both the venders to figure out how they verified the purchase, but the lady warned me that any time you use a card you run the risk of someone stealing the information.

Unfortunately we live in a fallen world in which people no longer heed the 10 commandments.  This just means we have to do our due diligence to follow them ourselves and keep our guard up against those who don't.

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