debit card stolen...$600 later...

  1. Well, my debit card was stolen on Thanksgiving, and $600 later, the day after, I finally found out and cancelled it. The really bad thing is, I think i know who did it. Even though he denies it, he took $20 from my purse a prior occassion. (o.k. this gets worse, I didn't dump him after that.) When I met this guy he had 3 years clean. Then he started using again, and has gone in and out of recovery since. He's created more wreckage (yes, he's a fellon too) since using drugs. A week or so prior to this, I gave him my PIN and my card to put gas in my car which I had also let him borrow, (can you believe this story? The guy doesn't have a car either, sold it for drugs the last time out.) On Thanksgiving eve, he stayed with me and that morning I bought a pie. That was the last time I saw the card. It was used at 4:36pm on thanksgiving at a branch very near his house at the ATM. And $100 at a liquor store nearby. I immediately shut off his cell phone, (also in my name, I know, I know, this keeps getting worse all the time), so he calls me about 3:00 to ask what's up with his phone since the phone company now is refusing to give any info on the account. I accused him and he denied taking the card and money. Now the situation is, whether he did it or not, and come on, all the evidence points to him, I can't keep someone in my life that I cannot trust. You'd think I would have learned this after the first $20.00. You guys must just think I'm incredibly dense. Why would someone with so much together be dating a jerk like this? I don't know. One of you will tell me it's a self esteem issue, I'm sure. It's the old comfortable relationship thing. We met in recovery (I'm 7 years sober) and we've just been seeing each other forever. I didn't want to believe that it was him that took the 20.00. When he got clean (for the umpteenth time) he admitted to me that he had taken it. He apologized and paid back that plus some other money he owed me. So I gave him another chance, boy do I feel like a loser now. Not only am I out the $600 while the bank and Sherrif's dept. research this, but turning off the cell phone will cost me a penalty of $150 plus all the charges that he currently owes. I figure I'm in an additional 360 with all that crap plus the $600. AND I don't have the phone, he does. Now that it's turned off, I can't contact him unless he calls me. When I told him that the bank has surveillence on the ATMs he said thank god, that the videos would clear him. But that doesn't clear him, because the Sherrifs said that he could have asked someone else to use it if he shared 1/2 the money with them or something. Being an honest person, that didn't even occur to me. I feel that I have to cut this guy loose either way (I know, you're saying DUH!!!!) and it's upsetting, because even though on paper this guy looks like a real *******, he did little things, like remember if I had a big exam and call to ask how it went. He took me to nice dinners when he had the money, crab, lobster, whatever, he didn't sweat it. So even though he's f'd up, I've overlooked it and stayed with him. Now a major part of my emotional support is gone, and I feel so alone. I've been keeping busy with making jewlery (a hobby of mine) and studying. I've been praying about the situation. All I can do is wait, and let the Sherrifs do their job. It's a pretty powerless feeling. I've decided to avoid the guys phone calls in the mean time. He know's I'm emotionally sucked-in, and if he's lying he's being pretty convincing about it. I have to stay away to keep my head clear.
    Now go ahead and give me the "10 stupid things smart women do" speech. I deserve the dumb chick of the year award.
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Cindy_A
    OK, Craff I'm not going to lecture you, I think you've probably kicked yourselff in the butt enough. I think you do have to realize that this guy is NOT going to change. Despite all the nice little things he does, it's not worth all the bad BIG stuff he does. You need to stay away from him and you already know that. Whenever you feel like hooking up with him, just give us a post. I've seen that the folks here on this BB are very supportive and will help you out. Good Luck!!!!
  4. by   thisnurse

    i feel so bad for you. i cant think of too many feelings more hurtful than being betrayed by someone you love.
    why you trusted him is unimportant at this point. its only important as a lesson for the future.
    so just focus on cleaning up this mess and going on.
    its most likely he did take your debit card. nobody would be able to take out money without your PIN. what are you going to do when they have evidence against him? they are going to expect you to press charges...will you? boy thats going to be hard.
    in regards to the phone, write it off. its not even important you get that back. let him keep it as a suvenier (sp) and reminder of your kindness and what he did with that.

    as for you...stop beating yourself up about this.
    everyone makes mistakes and uses bad judgement sometimes. its no more than that. your ability to forgive and your sense of trust, although misappropriated in this case, are beautiful qualities.

    cut your losses, clean up this mess and move on with your life. i know its easy for me to say and difficult to do, but i see no other way to look at it besides damage control.
    you are not the only person in the world this has happened to. you gave love, you got burned. it happens.

    so figure out what you need to do to clean this all up and start working on it. protect yourself from this man at all costs. i would avoid talking to him. are you safe?

    let us know how things are going for you. we are a very supportive bunch.
  5. by   night owl

    No lecture from me. I think you know what you have to do...

  6. by   betts
    Federal Law Protects You from Credit Card Theft. If you reported it stolen/missing within 24hours then you are only responceable for the first $50.00

    As far as the choices that you've made...
  7. by   Dplear

    I am sorry this happened to you but hopefully i can help a little. I had a debit card stolen once and alot of money taken out of the account. The bank at first did not want to put the money back in untill they verified that it had ben stolen but i insisted and they had to put the money back in IMMEDIATELY. It is your money and the bank has an obligation to protect it. As for taking the money out at a liquor store, there is no question that the money has to be replaced immediately. that is why they have us sign the cards, so that noone else can use them and if the liquor store did not bother checking ID then it is their problem not yours. Do not let the bank fool you and make you wait. DEMAND that your money be out back in the account IMMEDIATELY
  8. by   betts
    Avoiding Credit and Charge Card Fraud

    A thief goes through trash to find discarded receipts or carbons, and then uses your account numbers illegally.

    A dishonest clerk makes an extra imprint from your credit or charge card and uses it to make personal charges.

    You respond to a mailing asking you to call a long distance number for a free trip or bargain-priced travel package. You're told you must join a travel club first and you're asked for your account number so you can be billed. The catch! Charges you didn't make are added to your bill, and you never get your trip.

    Credit and charge card fraud costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. While theft is the most obvious form of fraud, it can occur in other ways. For example, someone may use your card number without your knowledge.

    It's not always possible to prevent credit or charge card fraud from happening. But there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for a crook to capture your card or card numbers and minimize the possibility.

    Guarding Against Fraud
    Here are some tips to help protect yourself from credit and charge card fraud.


    Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
    Carry your cards separately from your wallet, in a zippered compartment, a business card holder, or another small pouch.
    Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
    Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
    Void incorrect receipts.
    Destroy carbons.
    Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
    Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
    Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
    Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.

    Lend your card(s) to anyone.
    Leave cards or receipts lying around.
    Sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
    Write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
    Give out your account number over the phone unless you're making the call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
    Reporting Losses and Fraud
    If you lose your credit or charge cards or if you realize they've been lost or stolen, immediately call the issuer(s). Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies. By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. In any event, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card.

    If you suspect fraud, you may be asked to sign a statement under oath that you did not make the purchase(s) in question.

    For More Information

    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the online complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
  9. by   night owl
    Hey betts,

    Your signature says it all!
  10. by   CareerRN
    If you are looking for proof to ease your conscious with any decision you are about to make and the actions you have already taken, then go to the place where the money was withdrawn. Most of the ATMs have cameras. Also, have him meet you and a friend at the liquor store when the person who was working then is back on.

    Do not be down on yourself. You have done nothing wrong. You trusted someone and saw good in somebody else. It was he who broke your trust and you have no reason to feel stupid, silly, or responsible in any way. As for what you do in the future, well that is up to you, your heart, your head, and emotions. It is very hard to give up on someone we really care about. It is not an easy thing to let go or continue to hold on. Good luck to you. Please do not allow him to turn this around and make you feel guilty or ashamed for his actions.
  11. by   craff1
    Thank you all for your support. I am trying to reach out right now, you know, to fill the void in my life that cutting him out is leaving. I went to an AA meeting this morning and got some phone #'s from women I have seen at this meeting in the past, and respect. It was suggested to me that I go to Alanon. (uggghhh!) But I guess they are right. Each time I have thought of going to Alanon before, it was when something bad happened, and each time I decided I didn't need to go because I had decided to walk away from this man and therefore the problem would be solved. Well, famous last words, huh? I don't know, in AA they say it takes what it takes, you continue to do what you do until you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and then, when you are in enough pain and are tired of the chaos, you will make changes. I've never given up anything without scratch marks all over it, if you know what I mean!
    Yes, if he is found to be guilty, I will prosecute. But since he has other charges in the que as we speak, this will not impact him. He has been in jail before. He has 2 strikes now. He will probably get his 3rd and the state will manage his life for him. This will not phase him. He has an addiction. He will continue to wreek havoc for himself and all those around him until he gets done, dies, or ends up in an institution (mental or prison). I of all people should know this.
    It's so hard with recovery people, becuase you want to believe that they will get clean and change their behavior. We all have pasts that we are not proud of in recovery. Many of us have changed and become self-supporting productive members of society. It's easy to "hook up" with someone in recovery because they have been through what you have been through, and if they are applying the 12 steps to their lives, they live by the same "rule book" that you do. Theoretically anyway. I have made nothing but bad relationship decisions since getting sober in '94. I think it's time for me to just be single and be good to myself. To do that I need to strenghthen my relationships with WOMEN who are doing what I want to do (i.e. sober women, nurses, etc.) The bummer is that even though I can observe this about myself, I haven't seemed to make any better decisions as a result of this observation. I started therapy again last week, what a coincidence (sp). I actually went to deal with some family issues, but now I am glad that I have that support in place at this time. Thank god for AA, and for the foundation I have there. The good news is, I don't have to drink over this.
    Thank you so much for letting me come here and air this stuff. I just felt so torn and hurt and all that junk last night. I couldn't sleep. It's like, now that I've done the paperwork and such, it's all hitting me emotionally. That's why I think I'll make a good nurse. In an emergency, I act first, and do what needs to be done. I panick or get emotional later after it's all over. Sometimes I take it home with me. (I've worked in emergency/regular practice vet medicine for 3 years now, in addition to teaching.) Anyway, one day at a time. If I have to go to court against him, I guess I'll deal with that when it comes to that. For now, I'm not answering my phone.

    One day at a time,
  12. by   craff1
    Thanks for the info betts. I filed an online complaint w/ federal trade commission and emailed the better bus. bureau for info as to my rights to getting the money back immediately like the other poster said, (sorry forgot your handle). I want to be able to state the code, etc. when I go in to demand immediate access to the funds.

    Thanks again folks.
  13. by   Jenny P
    Cheryl, don't keep beating yourself up because of this guy. You yourself say that you've been clean for 7 years, you know that there is a way to beat an addiction. My son was on drugs, and after many heartaches, he was sent to prison on his 3rd strike and got scared straight. It's been 20 months since he straightened out, and he is doing very well.
    He had a friend who got kicked out of his girlfriends home and asked if the kid (his age) could stay with us (our son was living at home at the time) for a weekend. The kid ended up living here for over a month, and one of his friends stole some of our checks and forged checks to the tune of $1000 last December; some of them made out in my name to this kid and endorsed by him! (long story, but the kid had no relatives, so that's why he was here). So we ended up having our checking account closed and no $$$ 2 weeks before Christmas. We reported him and charged him with forgery; the police officer told us that if he said he'd pay us back and even if he only paid us a penny, they could not prosecute. The interesting part is that the $$$ was returned to our account after we filled out all of the paper work, and it was the bank that wound up charging him with forgery as they were the ones out of the $$$$$.
    I was in Alanon for 3 years while my son was on drugs and it was the only way I maintained my sanity. I've never been in AA, but Alanon was the best thing I did for myself at that time.
    As far as why you kept seeing this guy, maybe you need to give yourself credit for the positive changes you have made in your life. You have been sober for 7 years; and you're almost done with nursing school (I think I read that somewhere here). You deserve better. And hanging with a druggy is not good for someone in recovery.
    Please do take care of yourself. I'll be thinking and praying for you.
  14. by   aimeee
    Wow. What an awful experience. You'll get no lecture from me. Just one word of advice--listen to those little warning voices in your head from now on--they are usually right.