Short and Sweet Life Update – I will Survive! – UPDATED!!!!

Hello my friends. My what day but oh my what a night.

I’ve been in my editing cave for two days and prior to that, I was busy most of the weekend so I haven’t had time to check in and write anything worth reading.

That has changed as of today. I really should be in bed but this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and I have to admit, I missed my blog. 🙂

I awoke this morning and found some unwelcome alerts from my bank in my e-mail. Yep, you guessed it. My bank account was hacked and I was robbed of what meager monies I had in there stored away for the second half of the month’s bills. Fortunately, I had paid my gas and electric bill yesterday so the lights are still on!

All of the charges on my account were local to Baltimore, so being the writer / detective I am, I knew this wasn’t one of those big time hacks like Target or Home Depot. This one was more personal. This one was right under my nose.

After going through the past month’s charges to my account, there was only one purchase that stood out and after I thought about it, I remembered exactly when and how it happened and how uneasy I felt, even at the time it was going down.

I had stopped at the Wendy’s near where I work for an Asian chicken salad on my way back from the bank. At the drive thru window, they normally take my card, swipe it, and hand it right back. The young lady took my card, swiped it and walked away from the window for what felt like almost a minute. When she returned, I said, “May I have my card back, please?” To which she flatly replied, “Oh, yeah,” and handed it back to me, without so much as a thank you or even making eye contact.

Yes. I believe this perfectly innocent looking young woman stole my card number in the brief time she wandered away from the window.

Think about it; how long do you think it takes for them to use one of those card hacking swipers or to take a cell phone shot of your bank card? The answer is, not long.

I called the Wendy’s and spoke to a less than concerned manager and reported the incident and I also sent a message to the official Wendy’s page on Facebook and their corporate office. Tomorrow, I’m going to report my findings to the bank as well.

**********UPDATE**************

Always trust your gut instinct. I was 100% correct. I heard from Wendy’s corporate security this morning. They informed me that myself, along with several other customers who reached out to report suspicious activity after having visited the restaurant, helped them break up a credit card theft ring at that location. Police report has been filed. Bank has been notified. Wendy’s security has it all on video and when they entered the restaurant to confront the “persons of interest,” the suspected employees promptly walked off their jobs and are soon to be served with warrants for bank card theft.

Later this morning, I found by way of a Google alert, that a hacker website is GIVING away Fireflies as a free download. This world is so full of criminals it’s insane.

Now for the good news: In the past 2 nights, I have managed to complete the FINAL edits of the first 271 pages of The Blue Diamond!!!

The Ravens beat the Steelers!!!

No matter what life throws at you, you cannot give up. You have to keep moving. You have to push on.

Goodnight my friends. Sleep well.

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10 thoughts on “Short and Sweet Life Update – I will Survive! – UPDATED!!!!

  1. That is awful. I hope they catch her. Does your bank refund the money once the perpetrator is found? I hope they sort it out for you. How on earth do you stop a hacker website from releasing your book? Sending positive vibes and hope your day has good results.

    • Thank you Eloise. Yes, my bank will return all of the money that was stolen. As of this morning it appears some of the transactions did not clear/go through because my bank had already frozen my card and refused the transactions. The ones that did go through I called and disputed this morning. I hope if it was in fact this young woman, she stops this and changes her ways before she gets caught!

  2. I hope she spends a few years in prison. We are full time RV’ers and we have been thinking of opening an account that we only put $500. in that we use on the road, so that if it is hacked that is all that they get. Sad that it is necessary. We have been lucky, and we watch our accounts like hawks, if one penny is off we call. Doesn’t mean we will ever get hacked. Good luck on your new book. Hope it will be on Kindle. We of course do not keep a lot of books on board because of the room.

    • So far I’m lucky because my bank caught this right away. I must be very predictable in my account activity. 🙂 I called them this morning and only 2 of the bogus transactions cleared! YAY! Well, so far…so the other two must have been blocked by the bank aka some of my money is back. However, I will be going by the bank after work today and withdrawing what’s left of my money until they refund me what was taken. I really despise thieves and I agree, if this young woman did in fact steal my card number (which is the only explanation) she deserves to be punished. the only problem is they have to catch her first.

  3. As of this morning, I filed a police report. I found several articles online where this has happened to others around the country. They should have video inside of the restaurant and hopefully, she is on it.

    • Nothing. 😦 An author friend gave me two links for Goodreads forums where they were discussing options and such and the general consensus was there isn’t a damn thing you can do but hope that whoever downloads them, actually reads them and shares them. The only promising thing is that these sites have so many books on them that the odds of your book ever even being downloaded is like a million to one.
      Still, thieves make me sick.

      • Me too.
        Another thing I read was that a lot of those sites don’t actually give you a download of the book; you think you’re downloading the book and you end up with a virus. Maybe that could be the backup hope…
        Sorry this has happened :-\.

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