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My credit card goes missing

April 22, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
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A few weeks ago when my driver reached into my credit card case for my card to charge lunch, it was missing. I asked if she might have accidentally taken it home the previous Thursday, but she said she had not. The next day I checked my online credit card balance and found over $1000 of new purchases I had not made.

I called the credit card company, reported the card missing, and told them there were unauthorized charges on my account. When they asked me if I made the purchases, I told them I had not. Although I was not liable for the charges, and because I shop frequently at the stores were the charges were made, they had me speak to the fraud division.

They wanted to know who else had access to my card. I told them my driver does because I am quadriplegic and need her to use my credit card to complete transactions, while I watch. I also told them I occasionally send my driver to make purchases for me and have her use my credit card to charge them.

It was further recommended that I file a police report. Then law enforcement could check the stores surveillance video to try to identify the person who made the transactions. When I called the city police, two officers came to talk to me. Since the fraudulent charges were made in the county, they said it was not their jurisdiction and called the Sheriff's Department. When thesheriff's deputies arrived, they said since I lived in the city it was the police department's jurisdiction. So they had the city police officers return and make a report.

That same day my driver went to the Sheriff's Department and gave a statement. A few days later two sheriff's deputies came to my nursing home room with a still photo from the store's surveillance video. When they asked if I could identify the photo, I told them it was my driver's boyfriend.

The sheriff's deputies went to my driver's boyfriend's father's home (where she also lives) and were given permission to search. My driver said after the search, her boyfriend went to the Sheriff's office and confessed he had used my card.

Since I had cash go missing while I have lived in nursing homes, I do not keep it on hand. For many years I have trusted my caregivers/drivers to assist me with purchases and have let them use my credit card to make purchases for me.

In the last few months, with three different drivers, several credit cards have gone missing and were replaced. I was warned to keep track of who has possession of my credit card.

Representatives from the county prosecutor's office said that my driver's boyfriend may be able to get a plea deal that will allow him to make restitution.

This upsetting event made me realize I can never be too careful with my credit cards.

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Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...