I’ve been robbed!

Every morning, I check my bank account. It’s just a habit I developed when money was tighter and I wanted to ensure the bills were getting paid with sufficient funds. I also like to ensure there’s nothing unusual going on.

This morning I saw something unusual: a $300 withdrawal from my chequing account from an ATM at a dépanneur on Sherbrooke. Kerry and I have a joint account and as she works downtown, I figured it may have been her. But the amount was so big and we discuss pretty much any major purchase or transaction before doing it, something seemed off.

She’s been mugged. I thought. Someone marched her up to an ATM and made her withdraw $300.

I called her.

"Uh, you ok?"

"Yes…"

"Did you just withdraw $300 from an ATM at a dépanneur?"

"Um, no…"

"Shit."

So, calls have been made. Cards have been cancelled and are being reissued and re-sent out (during a postal strike) and money is being refunded and it’s all very annoying and a little scary.

Of course, I’ve no idea where this could have happened. Neither of our cards are missing and yet somehow, one of them was cloned and a PIN was issued for it and it was used to steal money. The withdrawl was either this morning or over the weekend (but mostly likely today) so I was quick to report it and now, hopefully, the card is no longer able to be used. I hear gas stations are common targets for card cloning and I did buy a tank of propane over the weekend from one so was that it? Or the new gas station I’ve been using on the way to work? Or our new dépanneur? Or, hell, was it Canadian Tire? With the recent move, we’ve been buying up a crapload of stuff so the card’s been getting some use.

I’m strangely calm about it, though. I feel stupid for "allowing" it to happen but I know that it happens to lots of people every day and it’s a peril of living in the 21st century. But the money is being returned (after some forms are signed) and the card can’t be used again. I’m worried that it could be the start of a larger identity theft problem but somehow I don’t think so. I think it was just the card and besides, I have identity theft insurance. My normal state is to get very emotional about this sort of thing but I guess it could have been worse. Nobody in the family was hurt and we’re just going to be inconvenienced for a bit while the new cards are sorted out.

But maybe I will use cash a little more often…

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