Identity Theft

I went to my credit union yesterday to straighten out a little problem. When my debit card information was stolen and used, I immediately reported what was going on and my credit union refunded my money and put a watch on my account. I am awaiting new plastic. One thing was refunded to me twice and I would rather take care of that sooner than be surprised about it later. Our conversation follows, starting after I walked in the door.

Teller, “What is in the package over by the tree? The one you brought. It is heavy!”

Me, “A musical gift for a 4-year-old girl, as it says on the label.”

Teller, “But what is inside?”

Me, “Oh, it is a little pink toy grand piano, sized for a young child. I was afraid she might not really be interested in it but at least it could be a prop when playing with her dolls. I hope she has dolls.”

Toy Piano

Teller, “Kids love musical toys. I promise you she will play and play with it. What a wonderful gift!”

Me, “I was going to put my card inside with a note offering free lessons if she seemed interested but these are supposed to be anonymous gifts, are they not.”

Teller, “Yes, they are supposed to be anonymous. Oh! What can I help you with?”

Hastings is a small town. When you go to the post office there is no line. When you go to renew your driver’s license there is no line. When I go to the bank I almost never have to wait. Service is friendly and personable and not rushed. Something important one does not think about when considering where to live.


Me, “I came here to . . . . Wait, this is not going as I planned. I have to start over.”

I walked back to the front door, traversed their pittance of a maze of roping, and approached the very same teller.

Me, “I would like you to stop giving me so much money, please.”

Teller, “I don’t . . .”

Me, “There are bell ringers in the front of stores. You can virtually adopt a tiger on tv. There are many churches and charities everywhere. If you have excess money there are already appropriate and convenient places to dispose of it. You do not have to go putting it on me. I don’t need it and I don’t want it.”

Teller, “Jim, I . . .”

There. Small town. I had not said who I am. In the past year in total I have walked into that credit union maybe seven times including setting up accounts. But the tellers know me by name. Take THAT, big city living.

I produced the evidence, the first page of a transaction printout as evidence of the credit union’s digression. I pointed out first the bad transaction for $77, and then I showed not one but two refunds of same.

Me, “You see where money was stolen from me and when I called the company and told them I never ordered the acne medication suite of products they said FedEx would pick up the box and take it back the next day, which did indeed happen, and they refunded my money. And when I showed you the three bad transactions then you refunded me all three. So with two different parties acting on my behalf I have been refunded too much money and I do not wish to be bothered by this when I least expect it so let’s fix it now.”

Teller, “What was it they sent you?”

Me, “From this first company I received a box full of different acne medications, like a bunch of things to use together. I’m 55, my wife is 60, we have never done business with this company and I never did have an acne problem.”

Teller, “That is very odd . . .”

Me, “I think it is a prank. The identity thief could have used my information to actually steal and instead I am receiving gifts. I think I have a secret admirer. This person is poor and sees me going about doing my wondrous things and they see the true me, a beacon of everything one might hope to one day be. They are so taken by me that they want to give me things but, alas, they have no spare change. So they do the next best thing and secretly borrow money from my own account in order to shower me with gifts which I so very much deserve.”

Teller, “Sir . . . Jim, I’ve seen this before. If you are not careful and you are buying something online to be shipped somewhere other than the billing address, the package is unintentionally shipped to the billing address instead of the intended address. Your thief is just not very good at what they do. They wanted the acne medication delivered elsewhere.”

Me, “Now you’ve done it, haven’t you.”

Teller, “What did I do?”

Me, “I was happy and now I am sad. It is all your doing.”

Teller, “I would nev . . .”

Me, “I had this lovely world view where I was admired and people wanted to shower me with gifts and at worst the world was a place of mischief and fun and you have changed my world view into a dark place where your identity is stolen so you will be robbed. I used to live in a happy place and now I live in an ugly place. You did this to me. It is your fault.”

At this the other teller either fell down or just collapsed to the floor with both her hands covering her mouth and tears flowing from at least one eye. Either she was horribly saddened by my plight, unlikely, or she was laughing at my humor, maybe not quite as unlikely.

Teller, “I’m so sorry if I . . .”

Me, “I guess this is partially my fault. I knew how this conversation was supposed to go. I ran the whole thing repeatedly in my head before I left to come here. I should have written it down. I could have written out our parts and made two copies so we could have read our parts and conducted our business. It would have been a lively and enjoyable conversation where each of us had something witty and positive to say. I will do that when I come next time. No one’s world view need be ruined.”

Teller, “If I could just borrow your printout for a moment so I can copy it and fax it to the main office . . .”

She took the page, copied it, and circled three numbers. And she wrote down my number so she could call me once the matter was taken care of.

Now I’m in a fix. Next time I go to the credit union I have to write a script. Actually that should make things easier because then I won’t have to reconstruct the conversation the next day. I will be writing my blog about going to the credit union and what silly nonsense happened, and I will be able to write it before I go. We’ll see if I follow through.

2 thoughts on “Identity Theft

  1. YOU may think Jim makes this stuff up. I know better. I have observed these conversations before. These are REAL. Running routine errands with Jim can be highly entertaining.

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