That was a real dick move.
Here I was, minding my own business, attempting to purchase dog food at Target when my debit card declined.
Hmm.. I thought. That’s strange.
Not wanting to draw any more attention to the fact that my card declined, I quickly swapped it for my credit card and left with my dog food in hand, silently shooting people looks that I hope conveyed the message that hey, I really could afford this $17 bag!
Sitting in my car in the parking lot I quickly logged into my bank account. Could I have forgotten about an automatic payment? Did I buy a bunch of apps on iTunes that I forgot about? There had to be an explanation.
Those three transactions stood out the minute the page loaded. Three, high-priced, pending transactions from a Wal-Mart I had never visited in a town I had only vaguely heard of.
My stomach dropped.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I did a little of both, and with shaking hands I called my bank and started the process of sorting this mess out.
In the safety of my locked vehicle, in the middle of the day, I felt exposed and slightly afraid. How much more of mine did you have?
I felt violated.
How dare you? Who gave you the right to my information? What made you think you could take something from me? Money that I had worked for. Earned at a job that takes me away from my son each day.
After more choice words aimed at you, my anger turned to amusement. The lady from my bank was able to see that at least one transaction didn’t go through due to insufficient funds. Your attempt alerted the fraud department through my card services. I guess the joke is on you.. For trying to steal from an already irresponsible shopper. Thinking I walk around with that kind of money in my checking account.
Then I found myself a little sad. I wondered what your story was. Why you felt the need to steal from unsuspecting Midwestern women who get their thrills from shopping at Target multiple times a week. (Target, not Wal-Mart. That was my first clue).
I found myself hoping that maybe you did what you had to do. That you desperately needed that money to pay for food, for clothes for your children. That life had handed you such a raw deal that you felt trapped and like this was your only way. That maybe you didn’t have parents around while you were growing up to teach you about hard work and values.
Then I realized you’re probably a young hacker. Just think, if you could spend your time and energy focused on a legal career as opposed to hacking into computer systems and stealing people’s information, how much better off you’d be. You wouldn’t need to live the hustler’s life. You’d be making butt loads. Legally!
I wonder if you’re worrying tonight. Over that pending transaction that immediately was declined. Maybe this will be the eye opener that you needed. This life of crime isn’t for you.
Or..I wonder if you’re already on to the next one.
I’ve cursed you, I’ve laughed at you, and now I will pray for you. I pray that you’re enjoying whatever electronics you were able to cart off. I hope that you make enough money selling them to satisfy your conscience.
Regardless, I’ve decided to wish you luck. Your lifestyle can’t be fun. It’s only a matter of time before you get caught.
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.