Fighting terrible loneliness

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Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 8/7/2010 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I haven't posted for a while as I have been busy with finding my son's apartment
and getting supplies he needs for his kitchen and bath. I am finding extra things around the house for him so we don't have to spend money. Now that I have finished with most of these things I am here all alone again with nothing to do. I am not going out as the mold count is very high and it is making my asthma bad. So I have a whole day staring at me and no friends around to talk to. I am just so lonely. I was out yesterday doing many errands and then came home to fix some dinner. I eat alone every night. It is just getting to me. I also have had a big
problem with scammers getting my credit card numbers and using them mostly for online purchases. Someone in Spain tried to charge thousands of dollars of airline tickets on one of my cards. I have had this happen about 10 times. Each time I call the credit card company and they always take the charges off but I am feeling so violated. I haven't made an online purchase in ages and when I did it was to safe places like Amazon or Borders. This happened again last night when
I went into my account and saw a charge I didn't make. I had the card cancelled and it has been taken care of but I just feel so terrible, like someone is spying on me. It seems like a double whammy to me. I am so lonely and I have to worry about my safety. I have identity theft and fraud protection which I pay for every month to keep me safe but somehow these scammers get my numbers. I guess I have to stop using my cards which can be hard if I need to make a purchase that is expensive and I have to pay off.I have filed
police reports but they can't do anything because they can't find the source. And they told me if they did, it could be someone in another state and I wouldhave to take them to court. But if they don't show up for court the case is dropped. And I can't afford to go to another state to do this which would be unsuccessful anyway. I just feel like life is crashing down on me and I don't know if I have the strength again to pick myself up. I just feel hopeless.
 
Aurora

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 8/7/2010 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, your local law enforcement agency gave you wrong information. My grandmother, whom has alhiemers, is going through a similar situation. Someone has been trying to open credit cards in her name, and it didn't work, we were notified, as we oversee her finances and her life. It is lesser a charge and more like a misdemeanor. However,if the fraud actually happens it will be multiple counts of crimes. Identity theft, theft, etc. My grandmothers bank card was also stolen, and we can press a lot more charges that makes it a felony then. I am sorry you are going through a hard time. Perhaps a small pet would help you from being all alone. I live for my cat hehe. Hugssss you hang in there
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis, Anxiety
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getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40574
   Posted 8/7/2010 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora,
 
If you have to go to court, I think it will be in your area.  I don't think that they would make you travel to another state.  At least I would hope not, since you were the one that was violated.  It just wouldn't be fair. 
 
I am sorry that you are so lonely right now.  I am sure that this is difficult, and with not being able to go outside, that makes it even worse. 
 
We took the grandkids blackberry picking but the youngest has allergies and it got to be too much for him so we cut the trip short.  Actually he saw a mud puddle and wanted to get into it, could you imagine what that would have caused???  Quite a mess!!!  lol..
 
I can just imagine how it feels to have somebody get ahold of your card number and be charging things on your account.  I am just glad that you caught it and are able to stop it.  That is a blessing in itself.  Luckily you checked online. 
 
I hope that things get better for you.  You are really trying hard and I have a feeling that things are going to get better for you.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 8/7/2010 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Smurfy and Karen,
 
I do have identity theft and fraud protection though my bank and also from my
homeowners policy. The bank has done a very good job in not allowing the charges to go through. But as the police explained, scammers break into places
where they gather up hundreds of card numbers and keep testing them until they find ones that work and go through.I have protection where the bank must call me to see if I made a purchase but it has to be over $200. If a scammer uses my numbers from a public computer it is not possible to trace back to the person. And if the person who uses the card lives in another state the theft charges have to be brought against them in their state. So it would be impossible for me to travel say to CA to prosecute someone for a charge. I would be spending more money than the charge. And if someone does not show up for court the case is dismissed. I have been over this so many times with the police and my bank fraud department. They always investigate and no one has ever been found. I have moniters on the 3 credit bureaus that give you your credit report. They have to call me first to see if I have opened a new account. This has not happended and the credit bureaus are very careful. No charges have ever gone through it is just upsetting to know that people do this.
Smurfy, I do have a dog and he is good company. I just wish he could talk to me. I am just very lonely right now.
 
Aurora

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40574
   Posted 8/7/2010 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Aurora,
 
This is terrible.  To think that they get away with this.  It is scarey too.  But I see what you mean about having to travel to court.  I bet there are people that know that and just keep stealing other people's credit card numbers.  What a horrible scam.  I am so sorry that this has happened to you. 
 
It has been a beautiful day here today.  Weatherwise it is gorgeous.  We have been having so much hot and humid weather and it is nice that it cooled off.  Though it isn't going to last.  But I will take what I can get. 
 
I hope that you are able to find some things to occupy your time.  Or some people to visit.  I hope that you are able to go out soon.  It would be hard being cooped up when you enjoy getting out so much.  One thing, when your son gets settled, you will be able to go and visit him on occasion and that will help you.  Plus you can do other things while out too.  I really hope that things work out for you.
 
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18748
   Posted 8/7/2010 6:49 PM (GMT -7)   
i'd string em up aurora!!! hold tight. here for you.

the mad professor

-jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

CassandraLee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 8/7/2010 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Aurora. I am so sorry that this has been happening to you, no once- but so many times. This also happened to me (but just one occasion) many years ago but luckily the credit card's fraud department figured it out quickly and contacted me. I felt violated just like you described. But the one good and very important thing here is you are already smarter than them having credit card monitoring and fraud protection. You have now made these parties responsible for ensuring your financial safety!

Just out of curiosity, do you have the appropriate spam, spy, virus protectors, etc. on your computer? If you haven't already it couldn't hurt to get your computer checked and see if you could stop these people dead in their tracks.

Last, my own bank has online credit card protection. You are given a different credit card # for each purchase so it makes it pretty much impossible for it to be stolen and used again. I'm not sure of the exact details, but perhaps if you checked the Bank of America's website further, it could be an option for you.

I am sorry to hear about your allergies acting up again. I know its bad timing now that everything else with your son is winding down.

Please know that you're in my thoughts.

Cass

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 8/8/2010 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Dert Cass,
Thank you so much for your kind reply. I do have good identity and fraud protection so things are working out fine. None of the charges went through. It's odd that someone keeps getting this visa card # because I don't use it online ever. I do have a mastercard like you have where you get a vritual number and it is only to be used for the one purchase. And it is cancelled as soon as the item has been billed. The visa company thinks this one could have been from when I used it in a restaurant. They take your card and it seems they are gone so long. Sometimes they copy your card and then use the numbers. It's hard to know but I think I am going to stick to all cash for a while. Also, I do have very good security on my computer. I have virus and spyware protection and they run often. This was just another one of those unfortunate things and it got me at a time when I was feeling lonely and I just had a meltdown. I think we all are entitled to have a meltdown once in a while.
I haven't talked to you in so long. How are you Cass? Have things settled down for you? I hope so. Exs can cause a lot of havoc and stress in our lives. I hope your situation is improving. Post again so I know how you are. Maybe we can go into a chat room sometime and have a conversation. Just let me know when you would like to.
Take good care of yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
 
Many hugs,
 
Aurora

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18748
   Posted 8/9/2010 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   
YES about THE MELT-DOWNS!!! I AM BECOMING LIQUID!! LOL.

HOPING YOU ARE FEELIN' BETTER MY DEAR FRIEND,

THE MAD PROFESSOR

-JAMIE.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.

CassandraLee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 8/11/2010 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora.  ...Just replying to your reply here.  It's great to hear that you have virus protection and everything else set up on your computer.  Unfortunately you're right, it sounds like somebody has stolen your number the "old fashioned" way.  Have you thought about closing up this card and getting a new card with a different number?  (Just a thought)
 
I hope you are feeling somewhat better right now.  I remember from your posts last year how tough this time of year is for you.   Feeling unwell is hard enough, but I know being cooped in the house alone is the toughest part. 
 
I would love to chat with you too.  The best time for me would probably be on a Friday night.  My daughters are with my dad and you would have my undivided attention.  ..Nights in general have been hard on me.  Since my meds have been switched around I am either too tired, or if I stay up late it is almost impossible for me to get out of bed on time in the morning.
 
Just let me know how you're doing here in the meanwhile though!  yeah
 
Cass

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 8/11/2010 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cass, thanks for your concern. My money has been refunded and the bank cancelled my card and is issuing a new card for me. But this is the 7th! time they have had to do this. Their fraud department investigates the best they can but it is so hard to catch these scammers. They have ways of breaking into so many areas. Scammers have even broken into government files and into other bank records and stolen peoples Social Security numbers. I just feel for time next number of months I will not use credit but just pay cash. That is the only way to protect myself. The worst and most insulting thing to me was that the purchase was made for viagra!  I have fraud alerts on my credit file from each of the three credit bureaus so no one can open an account in my name or steal my identity. That would do me in. I don't know how I would get
through the stress of having to go through all that.
You are right that this is the hard time of year for me. This summer has been bad because my son has been away and I have had to learn to live alone. And it is going to stay that way because when he returns back here he will be getting his own apartment. But at least he won't be far away. This is also the time last year when I got so sick and had all the problems with my colon and needing surgery so I am seeing my therapist more to get me past the bad feelings I have. I also want to sell my house but that is not a possibility in this bad market. So I am stuck here for who knows how long.
But at least I own my house outright so I can't be put out. Just have to be careful and watch the bills and try to keep them as low as I can. If I tried to sell now I would take a huge loss and I need to get out what I paid as that
will be my future. Wish I could work a little but I haven't the strength to go
to a job every day. Let me know if you want to go into a chat room Fri. night. It would be nice to have a chat.
 
Many hugs,
 
Aurora

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 8/12/2010 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Aurora,
That happened to me once. I reported it to my bank & gave them permission to file a police report on my behalf. Eventually they caught the woman. Dumb woman ordered delivery pizza to her home. The card was flagged to call the bank if anyone tried to make a charge on it. The pizza place called the bank & the bank got the lady's address. Instead of a delivery boy, the police showed up at her door. She had to return/pay for everything & got criminal charges filed against her.

My mom had a card that had someone put through charges even though the card was in her possession. Turns out it was a waiter at a restaurant she had visited several months prior. He wrote down her card number & security code whilst ringing up her dinner. That took longer because he didn't make another purchase for a while & had sent it to a PO Box, but they caught him too.

Please do think about whether you really want to get rid of your credit card. I know it's awful to have your credit information stolen. I know I felt horrible when it happened to me. But my bank didn't hold me responsible for any of the charges. In this day of electronic check processing, people can much more easily steal check numbers & use that to clear out your checking account. I've seen it happen. And usually it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get that stolen money back from the bank. There are some good options to protect your credit information. If they didn't open a brand new credit account, your identity was not stolen, just your card.

If they ordered a prescription, they should be able to catch the guy. I'm not sure if you order anything over the internet -- that's the easiest way for people to steal your card information. If you do order over internet, you can use PayPal instead of giving your card numbers to the merchant. Then all they see is your paypal account. If you don't keep any money sitting in your PayPal account (and PayPal reminds you if you have money in there for more than 30 days) then thieving people can't steal a dime. But unfortunately that doesn't help with in-person purchases. One thing that was suggested to me was to buy a re-fillable AmEx gift card. I was able to put just enough money on it to cover a purchase when I went out, but if someone stole that number there wouldn't be any money to take. Not all the credit gift cards have that feature. If you buy Visa or MC gift card, read the terms because in some cases they will hold you liable if the card is used with no money on it (kinda like overdraft protection).

I just worry about you carrying money around town with you. I know so many people who have been robbed & lost hundreds of dollars in cash. I'm guessing you live in Aurora. I used to teach in W Aurora and know some of the teachers I worked with were victims of purse snatchers or purse pick-pockets more than once. Not to mention that a few people actually got their purses or wallets taken from them forcefully.

I'm sure you are already doing most if not all of this stuff, but just in case, here's the FTC's recommendations to prevent people from stealing your card number: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre07.shtm. If you're already doing all that, maybe it's time to get a new credit card company. There are people at the card imprinting factories who will steal the card numbers before they go out & some hackers will hack into the company's database (this is phenomenally hard to do, but does happen sometimes). Maybe there is a dishonest employee at your card company. If it's happened that many times & they haven't caught someone it seems unlikely that it's just a single person at a place you frequent. Maybe you have the worst luck in the world, but I would wonder about the card company if it happened to me 7 times. Good grief! I'm so sorry for you. This is the last thing that you needed right now.

Hang in there! You'll get through this too, but I know it's gotta be sooo, sooo hard. We're here for you.

-frances

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 8/12/2010 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Frances,
Thanks for your helpful and thoughtful reply. I have the best identity and fraud protection both through my bank and my home owners insurance. The charges never went through. It is just such an aggravation and upset to have to go through all the dispute processes. But the bank has right away refunded my money. I have filed police reports but as I mentioned before the police can't even find out who does these things. There are very clever scammers out there that have all kinds of ways to get credit card numbers without seeing the card. When I say I will pay with cash I don't mean I will be carrying a lot of money on me. Just enough to pay for what I need. I have made internet purchases in the past but I have one credit card that has virtual account numbers. It is not your actual credit card number but it is tied to your account and it is only good for one month. And you can only make the one purchase for each virtual number. Once my account is charged I cancel the virtual account number. It is very safe and I think all banks should adapt to this process. It would save them a lot of money in false charges. I have never shopped at any questionable places, just Borders or Amazon or Eddie Bauer.
I have Microsoft Windows 7 and when you go into a website a line appears at the top of the computer. If it is a safe website the line will be green. If it is not recognized the line will be red and that means get out of it. Also safe websites always have a lock symbol that lets you know it is security protected. Just some interesting facts I wanted to pass along.
By the way I don't live in Aurora. I know which suburb that is. I live North of the city. My name comes from a movie character.
 
Best wishes,
 
Aurora

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 8/12/2010 4:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Gosh, what horrible luck. I know a lot of people who've had their card numbers stolen once or twice, but you're the first I know who's had it stolen 7 times. I'm so sorry you're going through this again.

Good luck with trying to go without using your cards for a while. I do know some creepy people do steal the card numbers outright. I met a guy in a bar once who hacked card company sites -- mainly calling card sites because he was not that great of a hacker (& was even worse of a person). I didn't even want to get the police involved, but then he started stalking me & having his friends stalk me -- he was convinced based on the fact that I waited nearly an hour before telling him I was going home & never, ever wanted to see or hear from him again that we were soulmates meant to be married. Yeah, great guy. But it just seems so awful that that could happen to you so many times.

It as a country club restaurant where my parents' card number was stolen. Who would've thought? So sad that people are that shady.

take care,
frances

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 8/12/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Frances,
I just read in my local suburban newspaper about the worst scam I have ever heard. A family was getting phone calls and when they answered no one was on the other end. They didn't disconnect and waited for someone to answer but no one did. This happened several times. Some how the party doing the calling was able to break into this famiy's  phone records and somehow got into their home equity line of credit from their bank. It took them a while to notice but a huge amount of money was transferred into a bank in South Korea. The police are working on this and the bank fraud dept. but no one can find out who did this or how. The money was taken out of the foreign bank and then the account was closed. And it hasn't been traced to a real person. This also happened to two other families but they were notified by their bank about someone using a wire transfer from a phone to put money into a bank in the same country. I know it sounds unbelievable and I had to read the story twice I was so shocked. I don't know how these scammers can do such things but they do. It makes you feel like you are always being watched. Whoever reads this please check your accounts daily.
I do this every day to make sure no one is charging on my cards but it happened to me anyway. And it was a good thing I was checking because the false charge was not on my account the day before. So I am just telling everyone to be very careful. There are some very frightening criminals out there and no one is safe. Almost feel like going back to the under the mattress trick.
 
Aurora

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2280
   Posted 8/12/2010 9:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's the story behind that:
www.ibtimes.com/articles/29898/20100622/fbi-bank-accounts-scam-phone-fraud-siphon-off-funds.htm

Apparently they tie up the person's phone line to keep a card company from being able to get through to verify a charge. They have already stolen all the person's bank/credit card/identity information before they start with the silent phone calls.

I have unidentified calls blocked on my phone through my phone company. If a particular number keeps calling me, I report it to the phone company & have that number blocked. The nice thing with my bank & credit card company is that I can ask them to flag certain types of charges & to deny them at the point of purchase unless they are pre-approved. It's a bit of a hassle sometimes, but that way I don't worry so much. Plus, my credit sucks so I don't know who'd try to steal it right now!

But I can see that this is really, really worrisome to you. Sometimes too much knowledge gets us in trouble with those depression/anxiety demons. Yes, there are some bad guys out there. But try to remember that there are also a lot of good people as well -- people who want to help you out, people who will reverse the charges on your account, people who will try to find & capture the bad guys. Yes, that does maybe involve some denial to focus on the good in the world, rather than the bad but it's the only way we can survive. A life lived in fear is not a life at all (trust me I understand that all too well). I don't really know what to suggest except that whatever will help you be able to be at peace is a good idea. Find something relaxing to get your mind off it for a very short time & then work on a plan.

I'm not at all saying you are wrong about these things, just that I hate to see all the stress consume you to the point where you are so fearful of people watching you. Sure, there are criminals looking for a weakness in the system. There are too many of them. But there are also a lot of good people in the world. If the worry is short-term & leads to healthy action, then that's good. But I know for me often the worry spirals out of control until I start feeling like I can't trust anyone & don't want to be around anyone & before you know it I'm isolated with no friends and no hope and wanting to die. Maybe you're stronger than me. I just know that I appreciate it when people point out to me that something I'm thinking is making my life tougher rather than easier. I hope you don't take my words as an attack or criticism. They're not meant that way at all.

Just gentle words from a cyber-friend who cares.

peace,
frances
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