Thursday, April 24, 2008

We Wuz Robbed!

Spouse got a call from the bank yesterday morning. Apparently we've financed a spending spree to El Paso. Someone used Spouse's debit card number to pay for gas and goodies across the great state of Texas without ever actually taking his card. Did you know that you can hand key a number into gas pumps without swiping the card? Amazing.

Our best guess is that the card information was stolen when Spouse paid a utility bill over the phone last week. We currently have less than $50.00 left in our checking account. That's the bad news. Now for the good news.

The timing could not have been better. After sending a cashier's check that was nearly the size of our monthly mortgage payment to the tax man, our account was already low, so the thieves were not able to steal as much money before being stopped as they would most any other week. Also, because we were on an unusually tight budget, there was only one automatic payment scheduled for this week and no other outstanding transactions. That means no overdraft fees will be compounding the problem. What a relief.

Yes, we are going to have to forgo spending anything until payday Friday and then we will still have to be very careful. Yes, it will probably be a long drawn out hassle recovering our stolen money. But there's a fully stocked freezer in the utility room and plenty of everything we'll need to get by for a few days without shopping. We were very lucky.

I can't help thinking that as the economy worsens and fuel prices soar, nearly everyone will be either physically or electronically burgled in the upcoming year. It just seems so easy to do. A couple of my bloggy buds who are going through identity theft or something similar right now include: Anglophile Football Fanatic and Mamikaze.

It's times like this when I feel truly blessed to have "enough". Enough money to get by when the unexpected happens, enough education and resources to know that I will never have to sacrifice my integrity for gas money, and enough grace to feel compassion for the thieves and pray that they come through whatever drove them to steal from my family.

But just between you and me? I secretly love Joy T.'s idea of "hanging 'em by the toenails". After all, I am still a Texan.