I woke up yesterday morning and opened up our checking account. I found two large charges in it I did not authorize. I woke up my husband and quizzed him. Not him either. We went to visit the bank and discovered someone had stolen my husband's debit/credit card number. The woman at the bank was extremely helpful (we've been with them for ten years and everyone in there knows us).
The charges were to a place callled "Gameworks" at two different locations--one in Canada, and one in California. It's a restaurant/arcade chain which advertises "something to appeal to all ages"--a wide variety of token operated arcade games, kiddie food, fine dining and a bar (what a concept). I'm fascinated by the adventure they must have had. Did they fly from California to Ontario in a single night? Were they having a party? Did they have fun? If they catch them (doubtful) will they please send me a letter telling me how much fun they had with our money? I've never been to either of those places and have always wanted to go to Canada. Why did they stop there? Why not go to Australia? Or Ireland? I've always wanted to go to those two places too.
We signed the paperwork to stop the charges, and return the funds to our account, but because they have to wait for the charges to go from pre-authorized to pending to finalized, we have some time. Meanwhile I have to wonder which checks were returned and I get to deal with explaining to merchants etc. Not fun at all.
For future reference, to anyone else out there considering stealing someone's credit card number, do your research first. Find out how much money a year your victims make and how close to their credit limit they are. In fact, you might want to consider stealing filled-out loan applications instead. That way you can see all their dirty little secrets, check their credit score and be sure you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Trust me--you don't want my identity (Hell! Sometimes I don't want it either). The truth isn't pretty. This account was already in the red (or close to it) when you ran these charges up. We'll survive it--but you're going to be embarrassed the next time you present that card number. It's already been declared "hot", besides the account is now deeply in the red and it will be declined anyway. I almost feel sorry for you.
Almost. Most of me wishes you'd come down with some disfiguring life-threatening disease, rush to the nearest emergency room, present the card for payment, have to stand there and watch while someone cuts it up and listen to them deny you treatment. Then when they send you to the charity hospital across town and you lay dying while waiting for some over-worked doctor to see you, I hope your last thought will be, "Damn. Why didn't I steal from richer people . . ."