While the cat's away ... the mice steal credit cards

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    AAARRGGH! He did it again.
    I got a call from the fraud prevention dept at Chase, to ask if I had authorized charges for XBox Live.


    I told the employee that I do not use it, but my son may have. He suggested I use another ph to call my son, (who was at a friend's house), which I did. difficult child said, "Uh, I guess so. It popped up on the screen, 'Do you want to renew?' so I hit "Yes."
    "How much was it?"
    "I don't know. It didn't say."

    So the employee and I decided I would pay $49.99 for the "renewal," if that's what it was, $4.99 for something unspecified, and lock out another unspecified $9.99 charge because Chase had refused the charge already. And I cancelled the card.

    It's a card I pd off 2 mo's ago so it was easy to spot the issue.

    I came upstairs and looked in my desk drawer (I keep my ofc locked) and the card wasn't there. I ran downstairs to see if it was in the kitchen drawer, because I keep old biz cards and credit cards in a drawer there, wrapped up with-a rubber band. When I pulled open the drawer, it looked like a tornado had hit. No rubber band, cards everywhere, our bank debit card on top, and just beneath it, the Chase card. I didn't remember putting it there, but I must have, in a foolish moment.

    I called husband, who was on his way to pick up difficult child at a friend's house, and told him, "Do you think it's a coincidence that the drawer is a mess and the cards are all over?"

    He's confronting difficult child as we speak. His theory is that either A) difficult child bought it for his girlfriend for their 4 mo anniv., or B) difficult child upgraded.
    He's got a way to get gft to confess, don't know what it is, but difficult child will stare me straight in the eye and lie, so I'm just staying out of it.

    We only left home for the day. We drove nearly 3 hrs to attend 2 award ceremonies at easy child's school (she won two awards!) and then 3 hrs home. We were home by about 4:20 p.m. I had a list of chores for difficult child, and had him call us when he finished, and I'd tell him where the cord was. He did some of the chores (he must have used an 8 oz water glass for the plants outside, sigh, and he only vaccumed half the floor, but it's better than nothing. I refuse to let him have anything with-o earning it. ANYthing. So we go through this relatively silly exercise, because I know if he gets his reward first, he'll never do any chores. He's full of promises and hot air. Anyway, last time I left home to go to S. Carolina with-two of you and you recall that difficult child skipped school to stay home and play video games.

    I know, I know it could be worse. He could be on the street doing drugs. But still, this is something that has to be stopped. When he's 18 or 21 and lives on his own, I can just see where this can lead.:hamwheelsmilf:

    I'll let you know what kind of a confession difficult child comes up with.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...Onyxx told me she wouldn't take our credit cards because she knew we'd know within hours... Sigh.

  3. keista

    keista New Member

    YUP! Thread title took me right back to the last time!

    So nice to know that the Fraud prevention actually works. They always block my card and call me with alerts when I'm using my card.
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    My difficult child has done this as well. He went into husband's wallet, copied all the numbers off the card on a piece of paper and purchased WII points. I found the charge on my online banking and knew instantly it was difficult child.

    I told husband and we decided to have a good friend of ours who is a Police Officer show up at the house and scare the sh** out of difficult child. difficult child was around 9 at the time.

    Before our friend arrived difficult child confessed the whole thing and was hysterically crying. husband and I felt some relief that he admitted to the crime.

    He (so far, fingered crossed) has never stolen again.

    We took WII away for a month and thoroughly scoured our online banking charges. He brings it up every now and then and always says, " I'll never do that again"

    One can only hope ...
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I spoke too soon.
    Turns out difficult child was on the street doing drugs.
    He blurted out, "I wasn't thinking! And then when I thought I should call and tell you, it was too late, and what difference does it make if I tell you anyway, because the punishment is the same!!!? There are all kinds of things I've done that you don't know about!"

    Uhhh ... lots of silence.

    husband: "If you tell us what you haven't told us before, we promise not to punish you for it. But you know that the XBox is taken away indefinitely because of the credit card."

    I literally had my hand over my mouth to keep myself from saying anything.

    Finally, after what seemed forever, difficult child said, "I smoked weed. I got the contact from T."

    Okay, my hand came off my mouth, "I am NOT surprised at all."

    (T got kicked out of school for 2 wks ... I thought he'd been kicked out for the entire yr for using or dealing, but he cooperated so he was only out for 2 wks. He's an amiable personality and will tell anybody anything. Except him mom.)

    So, T made the arrangements, and difficult child had a drug dealer, who is over 18 (that's the part that scares the cr&p out of me) ride his scooter to our street (that's the other part that scares the cr*p out of me) but NOT to our house, because supposedly difficult child gave him another house # and didn't show him our actual house ... and he got a handful of weed. $5 worth.

    "Did you roll it yourself?" we asked.

    "Yes, the paper was $1."

    I said, "How do you know it wasn't regular printer paper and--" but husband cut me off. Anyhoo ...

    husband was much, much more disturbed by the weed than I was. We both thought difficult child had tried it (all those visits to that park, and T and someone else getting caught at school, and difficult child whispering on his cell ph, etc. and then the cigarrette in the bathroom, which he sent down the toilet afterward ... he said he threw the rest of the weed in the woods in our yard) but we didn't know the details.
    It was worth not punishing him, to have him tell us.

    So, Cousin P may not ever, every give difficult child cash again.
    He will not use the Xbox until further notice (I suggested to husband a month but I want to wait until the report cards are issued this wk. I'm sure he's got Ds in two classes and that's one more reason to keep him away from gaming ... forever?)
    I will take him to Boys Club, which I signed him up for at the beginning of the yr, but never followed through on, the days when he does not have baseball.
    He will do chores constantly or his phone goes away.
    His grades will come up.
    And we know that his phone is his major trigger. (Think, anxiety issues when trying on new jeans from the store and having to call the police).

    The weed issue bothers husband more than it bothers me. For personal reasons (too long to type here) I think alcohol is more dangerous (at least for difficult child). So husband is creating his own personal hell at the moment, and he just has to deal with-it on his own.

    difficult child did give us some valuable info: the dealer is over 18, he drives a motorized scooter.

    difficult child likes weed better than cigarettes. It did not make him cough, and it made him feel better.
    I know lots of people who smoke pot to relax, and in particular, a 20-yr-old son of a friend (friend is in total denial and refuses to let his difficult child take Adderall) as just one example ... so I am going to talk to our psychiatrist about yet again changing difficult child's medications to lean toward anti-anxiety rather than anti-depression.

    The odd thing is that when difficult child tried cigs and weed, he did both alone, at our house. The cig was in the upstairs bathroom (I wrote about that a few wks ago) and the weed was outside. I guess that's the Aspie part of him. He is the only one I know who has tried weed alone. Most people use it in groups, for fun and get-togethers. Whatever.

    by the way, Cousin P fell and the asst living ctr didn't call me until 5 hrs later ... they got an xray 9 hrs later ... I only knew in a timely manner because the Visiting Angels caregiver called me. Grr.
    And just as I am slowly recovering from poison ivy, I broke out in hives this a.m. It was something I ate or ingested, like medications and herbs, combined, probably.

    I hate this!!!!!!!
    Lasted edited by : Apr 16, 2012
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You've got a double copy of this post (in case you hadn't noticed).

    Are you going to the cops with info on the dealer?

    It is so frustrating when this sort of thing happens. We went through a phase with difficult child 1 where he stole from me, used the money to buy toys and sweets. he skipped school, but with all the stuff he did he was not good at covering his tracks so it did eventually catch up with him. Scaring him straight didn't work; what did the trick (only it wasn't a trick) was when he saw my reaction - I was distraught and just let the tears flow. And the consequences - when anything went missing, he was accused even if it hadn't been stolen. he had to earn our trust back and it took years.

    Now - difficult child 1 is meticulously honest. He's learned that it's easier and that it feels less stressful to not lie or cheat in the first place.

    Removing the opportunity is also necessary, while you're trying to force the kid straight. We cut up old credit cards and dispose of them. Current cards are always in my wallet, which is generally always with me. Currently I trust difficult child 3 so I don't hide my wallet from him, but when we did have problems (not only difficult child 1 but a neighbour's kid who used to visit, and steal) I kept my wallet well hidden. No other cash anywhere. If I thought I might need access to quick cash, I would put a couple of notes in my pocket or down my bra. I've also been known to carry my cards in my bra too.

    I hope you can get a bit of respite soon. It does sound hectic!

  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Like Marg's difficult child 1, my difficult child is painfully honest and fearful of trouble.... I think removing all temptation is where you have live at this time. It is now apparent that difficult child cannot be trusted. He's been given a lot of chances Terry - perhaps the changes he will experience because of this latest incident will get him thinking. Stay firm.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This would be tricky for me. I actually am afraid of pot because it often, if not usually, leads to other t hings plus weed is not pure weed anymore...it's a lot more potent and who knows what's in it? Also, my own weed experience was that it made me paranoid, more anxious, and scared the beejezus out of me so I don't feel it is a good idea for anyone with problems to self-medicate. Plus you have a kid who stole your credit cards...yes, I had a kid do this too. He had a very boring Christmas, to say the least...

    I don't know what I can tell you to do, partly because we feel differently about pot (I'm not an alcohol fan either), but from experience I know that hanging with the wrong kids can compound problem upon problem. I would be focused on who your son is hanging with, including these girlfriends, and maybe do what I could to limit his contact with any of them. They sounds like bad news. My daughter started out smoking pot, but got in with a bad crowd of kids and ended up doing meth. in my opinion if pot is ever legal, it should be for those who are over 18. (I actually think it should be 21). Teens just don't always know when to stop.

    I'm really sorry all this is going on...but at least he didn't lie to you...lol. Hey, it's something :)
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am worried that he will try other things. It's all about peer pressure.
    His girlfriend supposedly hasn't tried it.
    And he no longer hangs out with-T.
    The other kid, K, is a culprit, so I will be limiting their time together. Plus, his house is filled with-gaming and computer equip, a laptop in every room.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh wow Terry, so many issues. Our boys do many similar behaviors but luckily Q can't be on his own, I know I would be facing even worse. I have to admit this is one area I let his fear of death work for me...I did tell him with all the medicine he has to take, he could die if he tried any drugs or alcohol. I also told him if he stopped his medications he could die which is the truth.

    But how to keep kids from being with others and never risking these issues, I can't imagine. My sister has this issue with her daughter (my God Daughter and first niece, we are very close) and she recently got caught drinking. She was grounded for a long time but can't do it forever......Yes, It is typical teen in some ways but for our difficult child's they dont know limits, they go too far, so even if it is kind of typical teen, it can blow up so easily.

    I think your insight to his maybe needing more of an anti-anxiety medication could be the most helpful. You know him best and I sure hope the doctor listens to you.

    Will be thinking of you and hoping you can figure out who the dealer is. I am glad he told you too.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Oh Terry! I'm so sorry! I've missed a few postings...so I'm not fully up to date. Is he seeing a therapist? Would you guys consider family therapy? It would have to be with someone VERY good...not always easy to find. I recall you were looking into boarding schools. Should these type of things continue...certainly sounds like something to be seriously considered. Again, I'm so sorry...sounds very stressful. Please take good care of yourself.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.

    I will do that.

    by the way, Nomad, yes, we have a family therapist. In fact, we have an appointment tomorrow at 5:15, which irritates me, because I wanted to hear John Elder Robinson speak nearby. Maybe I can do both ...