19 yr son who steals.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by suzyshopper49, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. suzyshopper49

    suzyshopper49 New Member

    I don't know if I'm in the right place on this forum to be discussing this but here goes. I'm at my wits end with my soon to be 19 yr old son.All of his life he's been a mamas boy, always turning to me for everything he needs, what's really sad is how disrespectful he is too his dad, who pays all the bills. We have tried to provide him with the material things he needed, but apparently that wasn't good enough.Hes never stole cash or checks, but he has used our charge cards,to buy things without our permission. He has ordered phones online using our bank account and credit cards.I first noticed small charges on our bank statement, but sometimes it was hard to tell if they were my charges or not. Then I noticed larger charges on my bank statement, and confronted him, and told him not to do it again. Well he stopped for awhile, but then since he had the only phone in the house,I made the mistake of letting him put Apple Pay on it, for small purchases we make while we're out.Boy did that open the flood gates, the next thing I know I see charges for iPhones Xboxs,car parts, computer parts and what not. He even used my ATM card to buy his friends dinner,he usd it to get rides from uber. I told him to delete the Apple Pay app in front of me which I thought he did.So if that wasn't bad enough he started using my 3 credit cards I have, he's charged 1000s of dollars on all 3.The only reason I haven't thrown him out yet is because, he's starting a job today, and has promised to pay us back, since I don't trust him any longer, and think he will renege on his promise to pay us back, I am opening a checking account in my name only,so his checks will be directly deposited in there, just in case he gets the crazy idea,to not follow thru on his promise.If this doesn't work I don't know what else I can do,short of throwing him out,which will break my heart. My son is so smart when it comes to figuring out how to steal from my cards,even tho I've shut the cards down numerous times.Im praying that him getting a job, with stop him from stealing from us. Does anyone on this forum have anymore suggestions how we can protect our finances from our son? I already have a lockbox, I shut down the ATM card, but as soon as I applied for a new one, it was immediately updated on Apple Pay. The reason I haven't shut down the bank account,is because I have bills that automatically come out and don't want any checks to bounce.Any ideas or suggestions wil be appreciated.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Many of us have had this. Your son is a thief. Many of our kids are. You have toprotect yourself from him. Suggestions...

    If you dont want to throw him out right now you must shield him from all your finances and lock up your valuables. All of them. You need to inconvience yourself because of him, shut down your accounts (ALL of them) and get new accounts then notify all the services that you have pull money automatically from your account about your new accounts. To be safe from son, you have no other option. None.

    Stop using that Apple ap that gives him information. Before you change aything make sure this ap is no longer spewing your info to son. He wont stop usung it even if he deletes it. He eill reliad it. He wont pay you back. It is not going to happen. You know this, even though it hurts.

    Your son is in a high level of thievery to have the gall to keep using your credit cards and bank accounts. Block him. For pity sake, never give him passwords of anything. Make them impossible to figure out. Stop paying his cell phone bills, car insurance, everything. He owes you, not the other way around. He will be angry at you? Too bad for him. Make him face consequences.

    I would have turned him into the police by now. I feel a strong need for my kids to know that if you break the law, bad stuff happens. Your son needs to see this.
    He is on his way to stealing from strangers, if he hasnt already. He will go to prison young if he keeps stealing. Does he maybe use drugs?

    I am sorry. If this sounds harsh it is because I am angry for you...for what your son does to you. I am probably more angry than you are.

    I hope you stop your son from abusing you and your money. Yes, its a pain in the neck, but you must change all your financial interests plus keep new ones locked in a strong lock box. It is always sad when we can not trust our own kids. Do you have other kids he may steal from? They also need protection. Is a father in the home?
     
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  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Talk to your bank. Ask them for help on protecting your account and also switching your auto pay. If this seems too overwhelming, at least set up a new account and only put enough in your old one to cover auto draft payments.

    I hope you find a way to stop your son from stealing from you. I would also find out what your state requires to evict him from your house...as that might be another thing you might consider.

    I know you are not to that point yet...but you might reach it faster than you can imagine.

    Ksm
     
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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Suzy

    Hello and welcome.

    I'm not sure what else your son does or doesn't do in your home that isn't appropriate. I think you definitely need to set some clear boundaries with him. What he is doing is not right and he is disrespecting you and his dad and your home.

    If this continues, it won't end well for anyone. Least of all him. This is not the normal behavior of a 19 year old son.

    You may want to try a written contract with him. He is young but he is an adult and if he is not following your rules, he should not be allowed to live there.

    Others will be along to offer their advice. Some of the advice may sound harsh to you but we are trying to protect you as a parent and also not enable your son to do things that are socially unacceptable which will not do him any good. Take what you need and leave the rest.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Sadly, it's a very common thing here, our adult children stealing from us.

    Your top priority needs to be protecting your finances. I know that it's a hassle to have change all your direct payments but it's necessary. Something you might consider is putting a credit freeze on all three reporting agencies, Trans Union, Experian, Equifax. There is a small fee but if your son would try to open an account using your info it would be declined because of the freeze. You can also put a fraud alert on them. I have done this myself.
    I would limit yourself to one debit card and one credit card. As for checks, I would not keep them in the house.
    Here's the thing, your son lives in your house and I'm sure there are times he's there when you are not. As much as we would like to trust our kids, they snoop. Your son may know your ss#, date of birth, mothers maiden name, etc.....
    I'm glad you have a strong box but if it were me and I could go back and do it all over again, I would get a safety deposit box at a bank. I too had a safe, my son stole it!!
    One time when my son was about to be released from jail, he told me he needed my ss#. When I asked him why he said it was so he could get an ID. I called the jail and asked them about it. They told me under no circumstance should I give that info to my son. They said my son could use it to open credit card accounts or worse, sell it on the dark web.
    I do hope your son will pay you back but I think you are wise to be guarded about it.
     
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  6. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Apple Pay isn't an app so it can't be deleted. If you linked it to a bank account, you need to close the account. You can close accounts, get safes, put locks on your doors, but realistically the only thing that will stop this is reporting it to the banks/credit card companies and the police and kicking him out. But you can only do that when you are ready to. I'm sorry you're going through this and I know how tough it is when your own child steals from you.

    Our daughter stole jewelry from my mother in law in a retirement home, including her wedding ring from her deceased husband. We finally called the police when she and her loser boyfriend burgularized us at night while we were home. Many people on here have similar stories.
     
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  7. litbitblack

    litbitblack New Member

    As difficult and a pain in the a** it is to change your accounts you have to. Go to your apple account change your settings to require a password to download apps then change your main password so he won't be able to redownload it. I also have a safe, its bolted to the wall. The keys are hidden and one is at work. I got my mom a safe when my daughter started living there because she had no where else to go and my mom didn't start using it immediately. Guess what? if the cash or cards are accessible they will use them. They think nothing of taking from others because they are trying to fill their immediate need. Hell my daughter got rid of my moms deep freeze without permission saying it was donated to the hurricane relief.....yeah right i know she sold that thing....Best wishes
     
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  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Why is he the only one in the home that has a phone?
     
  9. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Suzy.

    My son stole in excess of $4000 from me using my credit card. When I discovered the theft, the first thing I did was to change the account number, thereby keeping my son from accessing it. We then set up a repayment plan for him. He was working, so I required 75% of his paychecks until half the bill was repaid. I explained that if he chose to not repay me, that I would report his theft to the police. After he repaid half the bill, I was then taking only 50% of his paycheck.

    The boy, to his credit, worked extra hard that year. He had repaid all of it within 9 months. I think he learned a lot by being responsible for righting the wrong he had done me.

    He is now solely responsible for his phone bill. I do give him money for copays for doctor visits and I pay for his prescription refills. He has a meal plan at college and is responsible for the rest of his extras. He does not have a car (which is a whole separate stupid issue).

    I believe that kids who are given everything appreciate nothing. I think one of the best lessons we can teach them is that we are not an unlimited supply of money. Deprivation can be a powerful motivator.
     
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  10. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    What a great way to hold him accountable while he saw that his efforts brought that balance down over time. Such a small thing for some people, but I think some of these kids are kind of paralyzed so they haven't felt even small gains under their own power.
     
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Make him sell and/or pawn his stuff, including that phone, to pay you back. I would INSIST that you have custody of his phone with the apple pay thing on it from now one. I would cancel the contract on the phone also. So what if it ruins his credit? That is HIS consequence for stealing from you. Or let him pay the phone bill, but don't let him use the phone or have another one while he lives with you.

    Also tell him that the very next charge that is made by him will result in a call to the cops and you will press charges and throw him out. Then do it.

    He is an adult. Adults have consequences. You are teaching him that it is okay to steal. Is that truly what you intend? Because it is what you are doing. If you don't intend to do this, start giving him harsh consequences.

    My own children know that if they steal, they have to give the item back. They also have to pay for the item even though they don't get to keep it. If they stole from a store they also take whatever the store imposes as consequences. If we had to drive a long distance to get to the store, they have to pay for my time and gas to get back to the store (it is 75 miles to get to a large city). We have always done this and would be even harsher if this didn't work.
     
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  12. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Wow did not know this. Amazing that he made right on it though. Kudos to you mom. My son with the drugs just keeps doing bad things. Over and over and never ending saga! We always did consequences too. Never worked!!
     
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Our son bought an Iphone 7 on our account when high (and living in Florida). He already had an Iphone 6 at the time! My husband took it from him when he saw him and gave him an old phone. We pay for the service and it's much cheaper. He keeps asking for the phone/to pay for the phone but my husband said nope. Use the one you have.
     
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