Monday, December 15, 2008

Debit Card 101 and Some Cheery Holiday Pics

I have learned a lot these past few days. Some of which I wish knew earlier, like before some "professional" fraud spent over $1000 out of our checking account. I am alarmed at how easy this was for someone to do.
Neither Ken or I had our cards stolen. I assumed our number was taken from a dishonest waiter as it is the only time either of us hand our card over to someone. This is always a risk, the waiter can take a picture of your card with a cell phone in just a moments time. But the charges on our card were all made in another state 1500 miles away. One of which was at a gas pump. How can they do this without our card to swipe? There are tiny devices called skimmers that can read the info on your card as you swipe it while making a purchase. These used to be large and expensive but are now about $200 on the black market. The same type of machine that hotels use to make your room key in thirty seconds can also make a credit card. People make a living off of stealing and selling credit card numbers. Skimmers can hold several hundred card numbers. They can be placed in a gas pump card swipe and no one will know the difference. Maybe I am just a naive country bumpkin but all this makes me ill. And truly this is what I think of: all the time my husband spends away from home, traveling to far away scary (to me) places so we live in this beautiful country, free to believe in what we want, and live how we want. Why would someone feel entitled to steal from others like that? How can they sleep at night? What justification do they feel?

We all have it in us to be wise. To be good.

This garland of 1910 postcards hanging on a card clothesline given to be by my Gram when I was 13 is my favorite decoration this year. She was a very good person. Very selfless, very kind, very giving.

I truly believe we are all good. We all have in it us to be giving and kind. We all like things. We all want our children to be happy.

I want my kids to be happy, to grow to be compassionate, caring adults. Everyday it's my duty to shape their lives, to encourage them to develop what drives them. It might not be what I really want. I really want Henry to look at the camera.

I'll be more specific: I really want Henry to look at the camera with his eyes open.

Blogging about stuff on my mind is nice. I don't have to rant and rave about how upset I am about the stolen $ to everyone that I talk to. I am sure they would thank you for this. Thanks for listening to me.


Lavender Dreamer said...

I love the sweet pictures of your kids and the postcard collection is amazing! It really is nice to find some kindred spirits here in helps! And your blog always lifts my spirits! Happy Holidays to you!

Dawn Gahan said...

You must be such a wonderful mom. You are arming your children with such good. Keep it up.

And as Jewel says in her Christmas song "Hands":

"In the end, only kindness matters."

And you seem to have that in you, and plenty to pass onto your kids!

Merry Christmas!

Henry is so darned cute!

Bee said...

Some skimmers recently got a hold of our debit card number as well. I was wondering how they were making purchases at gas stations and Walgreens. Now I know. Who'd thunk I'd find the answer right here. Thanks for sharing.