Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Go phish

I like having easy access to my money and being able to shop online. I don't have to pay high card fees because I have a debit card, even if it means that I often cannot buy or subscribe where I want because the vendor refuses to accept a debit card. Small problems really.

But when I have to wait nearly a week to get a new card because the old card was phished, something must be said.

To the bank: There is no reason why you could not have sent my card by priority or next day mail. I did offer to pay the extra charges -- with my own money. I don't care what your protocol is. I have one credit card and use it for all my purchasing needs. You are refusing to allow me access to my money when I am the one putting it in and keeping a substantial amount in savings. You have been wonderful in this past, but on this issue, you need to rethink your policy.

To the phisher:  This is the second time you have tried to use my money and failed. Most of my money rests in savings and I get instant email and text alerts anytime money is added or removed from my account. I am not a drunk or a drug addict and have perfect recall of everything I spend, so when you decide that one or two charges will pass unnoticed you're wrong. I did notice and shut down my account. It was a hassle for me, but I will not share my money with you. You certainly have not shared your money with me so that tells me you either don't have any because you don't have a job or because you spend everything you earn and have decided that I am your backup savings fund.

For the first, get a job and earn your own money instead of living off the proceeds of someone who does give up their free time to earn it.

For the second, consider psychiatric treatment and voluntary in-house treatment in a locked psychiatric ward because there is never going to be a time when I will be your backup savings fund. I earn my money the hard way by working for it and the only people I am willing to help out financially are people I know who have had a rough time, either because of health or accident. Since you fall into neither category, I would suggest the voluntary (or involuntary if you haven't the gumption to commit yourself) commitment to a psychiatric ward.

I am not angry at the phisher. I am a little peeved at the bank, but all is well. I have my new card and have decided to be less free where I save that information online. Yes, it is a hassle to input the information every time I use the card, but I am a fast typist and can readily remember my information because I input it so many times. My brain still functions well enough for that despite having passed 50 on the age scale. Mostly, I was inconvenienced, but not so badly that I could not deal with it.

Okay, a good friend failed to get her birthday gift, but that turned out to be a good thing since her family bought her the same thing. I had to figure out another option and came up with a good one, so no harm done. And I saved a considerable amount of money while I waited for the new card inasmuch as I was unable to access my account for the purposes of emptying it slowly and with feeling. No harm done.

There are good and bad aspects to being phished, but I have great safeguards in place and I am likely to lose very little. I stopped worrying about my credit rating a long time ago since I don't plan to buy or build a house until I can afford to do so in cash. I have simple needs and very few wants that I cannot fulfill at my leisure and, as Gram always told me, my wants won't hurt me.

Delayed gratification is a good thing and it reminds me that there have been times when I had no rent to pay because I had nowhere to live. I had no utilities or phone bills every month because I had nowhere to live. I didn't need to worry about cleaning house or whether or not the refrigerator and stove worked because I had no groceries to buy; I lived on fast food and the wide assortment of fresh food found at delis and markets, buying only what I could eat in a day or two. I got more exercise because I didn't have a car and used public transportation when I could afford it.

My life now is comfortable and I don't stint on the necessities or momentary whims. I had a few days of minor discomfort, but all is well now. I have purchased my belated birthday gift and spent an enjoyable few minutes talking with my friend when I called to wish her happy birthday and explain the delay. Sometimes a Facebook post is not enough.

While I wouldn't go back to being homeless and destitute living on the edge without knowing where tomorrow's meals and housing will come from, there are times when I long for the simple life -- as long as there is money for laundry and a place to shower every day. It was often a hard scrabble life, but I got lots of material to write about and I lived. I didn't simply exist. And I worked for everything I had then and have now, as should the phisher, who should work as hard to get his own money as he did trying to steal mine.

I'm watching and waiting and I will cut off every phisher who attempts to steal what I have worked so hard to obtain. You can be sure that if I find the person, I will make sure they have 3 meals a deal and a place to sleep with a whole lot of other people just as cavalier with other people's money and intent on destroying themselves and they will never have to worry again about housing, food, or freedom. Beware.

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