Saturday night I lost my wallet. I lost my wallet in the WORST.POSSIBLE.PLACE.EVER. Union City, NJ. Well, granted, probably not THE worst, but not the best place, either, which could have probably been Fort Lee, NJ. I'm sure that whoever would have found it in Fort Lee, Edgewater, Weehawken, or Englewood Cliffs would most likely not have done what the finder of my wallet did: Racked up $1000+ worth of fraudulent charges on my credit cards.
There was already about $250 CASH in the wallet. Why not just use $5 of that to throw the wallet in an envelope and send it back to me with no cash? You still net $245 from the "good deed". Still, if I had found that wallet, I could never have brought myself to run around from Union City to Jersey City to Elizabeth and Secaucus, NJ, spending someone else's money who I don't even know. That sort of activity and mindset reflects a dark, dark soul IMHO. And they've probably done this sort of thing before. I mean, if they'd bought groceries at a local grocery store, I wouldn't feel such negativity, but they drove to Wal-Mart, Target, IKEA, a hair salon, Dunkin Donuts, and other places before 10AM on a Sunday to buy as much as they could with my credit cards. Shameful.
I'm a strong believer in karmic energy; i.e. what you give to the world and universe, the world and universe give back to you. Matthew has been wonderfully supportive throughout this whole thing, even though one of his cards was also used fraudulently and we've both been traumatized and stressed with the knowledge that someone out there in the ether has our home address, email addresses and goodness-knows how much other info that possibly could be used against either of us in some fashion. What's even kind of creepier is that this person knows what I (and possibly Matthew) look like, but we don't know what he looks likes. He could see me walk across the street and I wouldn't even know.
And I do know it was a "him". One of the charges was made for gift certificates at a salon that has surveillance cameras. When I submitted the police report, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. That's not to say that I necessarily think that the police will be able to find the guy and arrest him or that whatever case is mounted will achieve any level of prosecution, but at least the crimes are being reported.
The salon's owner has given the tapes to the police and the police have already followed up with me on the guy's activities, including possibly finding the guy's address from an online purchase. I mean, truly, how stupid do you have to be to make an online purchase with a stolen credit card? The IP address alone tracks where purchases originate.
It's just all so sad to think that someone out there really needed to go and spend that money (not mine - but my credit cards' money) on things. What could they possibly have needed from IKEA or Target or Wal-Mart? Another sad thing is that those gift certificates will lead to either someone else's disappointment or arrest because now the salon knows not to honor the certificates. Another innocent victim of this guy's criminal rampage.
My own "glass-half-full" ideology, that people are generally good people, has truly been tested, too. All day Sunday and part of Monday (until visiting the police station), I was fighting off negative thoughts and feelings of dread and anxiousness. But because I want to fight and maintain the "glass-half-full" and optimistic realism in my heart and soul - as well as the karmic energy perspective - one of the first things I did with my new credit cards was donate to charities. I felt the need to give back in the hopes that someone else can be blessed by the blessings I've been given, without having to steal it. (I also bought a few pairs of glasses from an online vendor
(for way LESS than the price of ONE of my newest pairs from Pearle Vision - meh), but who doesn't need a little shop therapy now and then? Especially after such a bad experience!)
Suffice to say, I have been granted a lot of peace of mind from my Matthew, in my credit card fraud departments, from the police, and with the hair salon surveillance cameras. I'm still gonna get ID security from my bank. They will monitor my credit activities, potential fraudulent activities (including if a credit card somewhere without my knowledge has been opened in my name - they will take care of everything for me), and keep my personal information more secure. Looking forward to making that investment!