Consequences? What consequences?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SJB, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. SJB

    SJB Guest

    Hello, it's been a while since I posted here. At the time I was in the middle of major drama starring my difficult child now 16. She had managed to steal a credit card of mine and charge around $600 of junk online. When I discovered it she got violent and I called the police. That started 6 month worth of hearings, community service, two twice-weekly classes (teen life skills and anger management) blah blah blah. Plus court ordered counseling. As if we hadn't tried that before.
    She "finished" this intervention in January.
    Last week I discovered she managed to locate a credit card--I'm guessing intercepted the mail--and charged up almost $1200 in clothes, cosmetics, shoes, manicures...god only knows what else. How did I find this out? I tried to use that charge account to make an online payment and was told that account was suspended for "suspicious activity". I found the credit card in her wallet. It was a Chase visa that had no signature on the back and still had the yellow "you must call to activate" sticker on the front! What the hell kind of store accepts a credit card like that! Quite well known reputable ones, it turns out. Hollister, Vans, CVS, a local nail salon and several fast food outlets. WTF??????
    What I should do is file a police report.
    But I am afraid, and I know for sure, the only person who'll end up being punished her is ME. AGAIN.
    This "child" has no reasoning skills at all. She's stolen money out of her brother's wallet and intercepted holiday cards with cash in them.
    Her psychiatrist is nonplussed. He nods, smiles and hands my her new scrip for Vyvanse. The psychologist is a bit more clued in, but difficult child goes out of her way to miss her appointments there so progress on getting a new diagnosis is stalled.
    I am beyond my wits end here. I do not have the energy to go through another 6 months like I did the first time I tried to get help by calling the police. I can't take any more time off work to ferry her to appointments and court dates.
    I am calling the Psychiatrist's office tomorrow and making appointment to go see him without her and lay this on the line. What more can I say to him?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think you need to ask the psychiatrist whether the diagnosis (ADHD?) might be wrong and whether the medications are making your difficult child worse instead of better. If the psychiatrist can't give you a good answer, you might want to ask whether he can refer you to a colleague who can offer some better help.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What can you do?

    You're already doing a lot, but I have a few more ideas (if you haven't already tried them and had to discard them).

    First - call the credit card people and let them know that the card was used fraudulently, and that it was obviously accepted by stores despite it not being signed and still having the sticker, "call to activate" on it. As far as I can see, the store that accepted the card in this state should be the one to lose out. There are safeguards in place for a reason, and a store that ignores the right procedures should be the one to be out of pocket.

    Second - arrange for ALL future credit cards to be left for you at the bank for collection. Have it written in that you will show your ID and sign the card in front of a teller. And that the card is not to be issued to you without these conditions, or you will not be held responsible for any purchases. Discuss this with the bank first, then confirm it in writing, in some way that there is an obvious paper trail. Registered mail, or email these days I think should suffice. Alternatively - get a PO box at least for bank correspondence, and do not let your daughter collect the mail for you.

    Third - get a picture of your daughter on a sheet of paper with her name and other identifying details, take it around the stores she uses and give them a copy. Only give them information that is Public Domain (such as her criminal record and past community service for this sort of thing). Make it clear - they are not to give her credit in any way. Preferably they should ban her and call you if she attempts to purchase anything, because chances are, it will be with stolen money or stolen credit, and it WILL come back to bite them - banning her will be less trouble for them and less expense. If you can't do this legally, then don't. But you need to go to these lengths.

    As for what to say to the psychiatrist - tell hem you're frustrated, fed up and if she keeps this up, you won't be able to afford to pay him so he'd better get his finger out and think of something, or he's lost her as a patient because you will have to cancel your health insurance because you have your daughter's out of control fraudulent spending to pay for.

    See if THAT pushes his buttons.

  4. SJB

    SJB Guest

    I did just this today and I agree with you that if the merchant was that blatantly negligent in following basic security I can't feel bad that they're on the hook for this. I am going to change my mailing address for my bank cards to my office address. The idea of taking a photo to the stores is interesting, and I'll think about that too..

    All of the CCs I use normally have "ASK FOR ID" written in black sharpie in the sig spot--hard to miss but you'd be surprised how rarely I'm asked to show ID myself!

    This is awesome!
  5. SJB

    SJB Guest

    Yes, I think that might be the best thing.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry.
    First of all, your daughter is not on your bank accounts nor on these credit card accounts, correct?
    If so, then you should not held accountable for the charges.
    True, the bank could very well go after your daughter. I'm not really sure this should concern you though. It is what it is. She has stolen money. Not once, but twice. Let the chips fall where they may.
    You might ask the psychiatrist if family therapy in addition to her apts. with t he psychiatrist (separate) would be called for. I would consider this and I would ask for someone to do this separate from him. Is your daughter getting therapy with a psychiatrist or a psychologist? I personally think talk therapy is a little better with a psychologist or mental health counselor...not always the case...but it seems the training is stronger. A psychiatrist is more for medication.
    So much going on here, I think your daughter might need a psychiatrist, a psychologist and the two of you (plus other family members) might need to get to a family therapist.
    Sending good thoughts....
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    When my sister stole my credit card info and defrauded me, I had to file a police report so they would believe I did not give her permission and was not in collusion with her.

    Good luck to you.
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Another thing to help prevent future incidents is to switch your home mailing address for ALL your mail to a locked post office box with strict instruction to the postmaster that daughter is NEVER to pick up the mail. I know that this may be a great inconvience, however, it may prevent her access to not just bank cards but every important piece of mail you get.

    I am wondering if she has applied for the card in your name and watched for it to come - taking one of those thousands of credit card soliciations we get each year through the mail and completed it under your name? If not, she easily can so make sure those items get shredded so she doesn't go through the garbage looking for them.

    Who knows how much other important papers she has intercepted? You don't want her getting her hands on your bank statements or anything important that comes through the mail. Ask your banks to call you if she ever tries to withdraw funds. I would think a flag on your account for the teller to check for an ID before distributing the funds would be acceptable to the bank if you live in a large town where tellers don't know their customers. Even in our small town, tellers look at the balance on the computer before distriubuting funds. There should be a way to flag accounts for various reasons to get the teller to look at a comment box. I was surprised one year when our small town bank allowed me to transfer funds from an account I didn't have access to one I did within an organization that I was treasurer for. We didn't realize I had not been put on all the accounts. Mistakes do happen, all we can do is tighten security whereever possible.

    Make it a habit to change your PIN numbers every month or so, just to make it harder for her to figure those out.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is dtr still 16? At what age does your state start treating them as adults in the court system? In my state they do at 16.

    What your dtr did is illegal and is not only identity theft it is larceny I believe. With the amount being over a thousand dollars it would be grand larceny. I honestly think you should call the cops ... well, actually you wouldnt have to call the cops yourself. Go to the bank that the credit card is issued by and report this. They should be the ones who deal with the law enforcement side of it. When my son stole my checks and cashed them, I had to go to the bank and fill out forgery affidavits. Now to move things along in my town so I could get my money back in my account faster, I did go down to the magistrate and have those affidavits sworn in but if I was only dealing with stolen credit cards I would have let the bank go through their process of finding the culprit after you named her and they could throw her behind in the pokey.

    They will be the bad guys, not you.
  10. SJB

    SJB Guest

    Thanks everyone for the advice, I'll try to answer some of you questions here.

    She's not on any of my bank accounts (she has her own and that's where her school tuition comes from) or credit cards. She doesn't have the same last name as I do so if the store had asked for ID they'd have seen that.

    She sees a pyschiatrist (useless) for medications and a psychologist for therapy. The psychologist is trying to fine tune her diagnosis but difficult child has gone out of her way to miss her appointments. I'm trying again this week.

    Her next psychiatrist appointment isn't until May. I called this morning to see if I could get a consult but they charge $200 bucks. So I arranged a 40 min appointment and will take that additional 10 mins myself to try and explain to him AGAIN what is really going on.

    I'm waiting for the list from the CC company to see just how many of those charges actually went through. the $1200 was total of what she tried to charge, the account was suspended before she actually got that high.

    She's still a juvenile, the law won't kick in with any teeth until she's 18. Which means she'd get funneled into the same diversion program through the Juvenile Welfare Board and we would -- meaning I would-- end up going through more "intervention".

    The CC company has removed the charges and will contact the merchants. If they figure out what happened and finger her then she'll have to face the consequences--like you say, Janet, the bank can be the bad guy. I still can not believe that merchants would take a card from a couple of teenagers--she would have had to have signed for the purchases even if she swiped the card (pun intended) electronically. But as I said before, all my CCs have "Ask for ID" on the back and I'm almost never asked. Check to see if the sig matches? What's that?
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I really feel for you re: your daughter missing apts. with- the therapist. Our daughter did this a few times and we cancelled. It was ashame, because this person was actually helping her.
    REcently, she started seeing a new psychiatrist. Knock on wood, she is making those apts.
    Another plus, is that we got her a social worker and that has worked out. So, this is kinda replacing the psychologist. They meet at a local place and talk and do more life skills work.
    So far so good...I keep my fingers crossed....but do my best not to have too much invested into it emotionally.
    YOu can bring a horse to water...can't make them drink.
    You might ask the psychiatrist at your office if he knows of a social worker/case worker who does this type of worker...they have a different approach. Sending good thoughts...if you find this weighing too heavily on you and don't have a therapist of your woman run! (hugs)
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Many times when I have things to share with difficult child's therapist (or any doctor), I will type it up. The doctor will read through it before addressing it so that way I know he has received all the info I want to bring forward. It is also a good written report for difficult child's file so when there is a review of it, my input is given.

    It may help for you to have your concerns in writing (this last visit to difficult child's therapist was so last minute that I did hand write it - no access to Word or a printer at home). That way if you do run out of time, atleast the doctor will be able to catch up on everything within the next day or two. (hopefully he would read everything presented).

    P.S., therapist also goes over whatever I give him with difficult child so I do write with that in mind. Lately, I have also let difficult child read what I am going to present ahead of time (he feels attacked if he doesn't know ahead of time that I will be bringing something major up).
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear. I am so sorry.
    I'd lose the psychiatrist and find another one. What a waste of time.
    She definitely has more going on than ADHD.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is a nice idea to go to the bank and tell then not to issue any more cards. The problem is that there are so many banks issuing cards that it would be impossible to go to them or even send a letter and have it get to the right place. To many "you are pre-approved" letters that make it so easy for identity thieves to get cards in your name.

    You really MUST get a PO box for all of your mail. She could even use one of those letters for a cash advance with one of your checks to get money that would come out of YOUR account two weeks after she does it. at that point it will be a major mess. Here the cash advance places are staffed by 18 and 19yos, or so it seems. (husband works the college basketball and baseball games with some of the young ladies from the 2 cash advance places in our town.)

    Only use your office address if your daughter NEVER goes to your office. If you get the mail there make SURE she cannot EVER go to your desk or where you keep personal items. If you choose a PO box, be SURE that the key is NEVER on a set you loan to your daughter. Rarely would you ever see a postal employee when getting mail from a PO box, so sending a letter keeping her out of the box won't do much good.

    I think you need to at least look into identity theft charges. Does she still get violent with you the way she did when you confronted her about the theft last time? If so then you MUST call the police each time. You can insist that she cannot live with you if you feel you are in danger. She can go to a group home, youth shelter or foster home. NOT ideal but you must make safety the first priority.

    I am sorry she is choosing this path in life. All you can do is protect yourself, lock up ALL precious items because she will steal them to sell or pawn if she isn't already doing this, and continue to press charges where appropriate.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The post office can post a note on the back of the box where the mail goes in warning employees not to give the mail to the daughter. I would think it would be easy to run into the post office and say, "Oh, I forgot my key at home, can you give me the mail from my family's box?" I could see me sending my kids into the post office to do just that. I would hope postal employees would be kind enough to help out their customers in this way.