Fraud Alert – A Block Has Been Placed On Your Credit Card

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As I made my way home from Houston yesterday, I had the self-awareness that I was really tired. It had been a long and very full week. Late night meetings and early morning flights were primarily responsible. Throw in my resolve to write my daily blog and the result was too many hours of awake time and not nearly enough sleep. As I neared the greater Henly area yesterday, I looked at the clock in my car. It was only 7:30 p.m., but like I said, “I was tired”. I actually had the thought that “dead tired” might be a more accurate description, but I am resistive to the notion that “dead” could be a word associated with any part of my humanity.

I had the wishful thought, “It would be so good just to go to bed.” The thought jolted me almost awake. Did I have “STUPID” tattooed on my forehead? I’ve been married long enough to know that you don’t spend four days out of town and immediately go to bed once you get home; particularly if it is only 7:30 p.m. Trust me, that wouldn’t set well with the General. Had it been midnight, I might have gotten away with it, but it would equate to a death wish if I tried it at 7:30.

Actually, just getting home energized me a bit. The General had been busy with her creative side. She’d crafted a couple of arrangements and the house looked great. I guess the two of us are no different than many other couples. We fall into a routine toward the end of the day. Some couples have a nightcap. Instead of that, she fixes popcorn for herself and I eat mixed nuts. I guess you could say, “We’re living the good life.”

Part of our nightly ritual includes watching at least one segment of HGTV. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking we are really sick. No wonder I was feeling dead tired. Did I mention the General processes it as a character flaw if I fall asleep while watching HGTV? Sometimes she tells me to stand-up if she perceives I am close to a horizontal drift. Actually, I can sleep just fine setting up. I’ve seen enough people at church do that to figure out how it’s effectively done.

Well, last night “dead tired” won out. When I woke up the television was no longer on, the armoire in which it is located was shut and the General was nowhere in sight. Oops, I could be in trouble. I turned off four lamps and made my way to our room. The General was still up. With almost a smile on her face, she said, “I was trying to find the packet of barbeque tickets that you had with you at church. I looked through the pockets of your suits and found $200.” What was I supposed to say, “Wow! That’s great.”

Actually, I was having a silent panic attack. I was trying to remember how much money I had stowed away. I’ve heard stories of old people who die and their families discover money hidden all over the house. Why not? At least I’d be remembered (perhaps pleasantly) after I’m gone.

I have a friend who has stashed over $5,000 somewhere in his home. His wife has no idea. He finally decided he should at least tell his son where to look in the event of his death. He didn’t want his wife to know he was stashing money. I didn’t want my wife to know either.

Two hundred dollars isn’t much, but somehow the General is more trusting of banks than me. She would have thought that was too much cash to carry. Perhaps I did too. Otherwise, it would have been in my wallet rather than a suit pocket. I knew exactly where I put the money. It probably has been in that suit for at least three years. Isn’t it true, everyone needs a little mad money for a rainy day? Frankly, I was surprised that she only found $200. I thought the stash was larger than that. Maybe there’s more in a different location. That thought ought to keep the General on a perpetual Easter egg hunt, so to speak.

Speaking of our closet, I had failed to bring my luggage in from the car. I went outside to retrieve it and when I came back into the house, I noticed a text message from my boss. “Are you awake? If you are, look at your email.” That got my attention. The email stated: “This is an email alert about the Regions Bank commercial credit card issued to Don Forrester…Recent activity on your Cardholder’s account alerted in our fraud detection system and we would like to speak with you as soon as possible to verify that the activity is valid. For your protection, a temporary block has been placed on your Cardholder’s card.”

I was now fully awake and wondering what I had purchased. It really is true that you can’t be two places at one time. One of the charges that I reportedly made yesterday was a purchase of gasoline in Decatur, Texas. I also purchased gasoline at about the same time in the Brenham area. Fraud alert – something was wrong. Of course, there was also a $100 charge at the Hilton in Dallas and a $25 charge at the Wyndham in Houston. Both of those charges was pending.

Obviously, I had not been in Decatur yesterday. However, I had driven through Decatur twice the previous weekend. Could I have inadvertently purchased something with my agency credit card? Oh, heaven forbid!  My agency would as well.  At any rate, I asked the General for the receipts from our trip. She responded, I’m not going to look through them at this time of night. Of course she wasn’t. She was playing solitaire on her iPhone. At least, she told me where to look to find the receipts. The good news is, “I had not used my agency credit card the previous weekend.” Who knows where someone in Decatur, TX got the card number. They didn’t get it from my use of the card in that area.

When I returned to bed at around 11:15 p.m., the General said, “It is lucky for you that I found the $200 in your suit pocket before you took it to the cleaners. I replied, “I don’t know if it’s lucky or not. It all depends on what you did with it”. She said, “One for you and one for me. It is my finder fee”. I think she was joking. Only time will tell.

All My Best,

Don

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