Yesterday morning was about driving to town for a Doctors appointment, and while Lauralea was in seeing her Doctor, I went and had the oil changed in the car. Then the morning took a turn and the rest of the time ended up at our bank, because as it turned out, we were robbed.
Trying to pay for the oil change was difficult because the machine kept saying our card was cancelled. That never happens, so off we went to the bank.
The bank informed us that my card had possibly been skimmed at some local business that had been identified as a problem business and could I check my account to see if it was alright. I looked over the print out and saw that on Wednesday, somebody had withdrawn everything out of our account except for $15. I felt a little uncomfortable then.
We sat down to wait to talk with a higher up official at the bank, and more thoughts came rushing at me. It was just under $300 that had been stolen and our account was that low because of travel on our sabbatical and the work we had just had done on the car. It's never that low and could have been in the thousands of dollars.
And the theft came on Wednesday. On Thursday I did a quick deposit of my paycheque without checking the balances and that loss would have been significantly more than the $300.
We met with a helpful young lady there and received a new card and talked about our travel to the States a bit. She didn't know the offending shop but because we had been in the states and how the cash was withdrawn, she wondered if the card info had been skimmed while we were there.
She helped us make application to ask the bank to replace the loss which was our only real option I suppose. Paperwork and unknowing for a day or three.
I'm pretty careful when using those things. If it's a portable cashpoint I'll check out the little unit for anything out of place. I cover when I enter my pin and I have a few buttons it looks like I press if you can even see past my covering hand. But this time somebody caught me, good.
It could have been so much worse, thousands of dollars worse. But as it was, we were going to be able to absorb that loss.
But it changed the tone of the day a bit. More vulnerable, more cautious. Glad that a gun wasn't stuck in my ribs, but finding a few of the same resulting feelings.
It helps, I was told, if you change your pin number every few months. I'll do that now.
It's an odd theft and some say that it's victimless. I'm not sure about that at all. I felt a bit victimized, although not as much as if it had happened on a street somewhere. And someone was going to have to absorb the loss, either us or perhaps our bank. There were victims.
But I guess this is the wave of the future. The banks and lending companies are doing amazing things with early warning systems and alerts, but we will have to be on top of these things too and be responsible caretakers of our money.
The lady from the bank called me last night and informed me that the bank had found on our behalf and was willing to cover our loss and that the money had been added to our account. I genuinely thanked her for that.
So that's what it's like to be robbed in the 21st century.