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Cyber thieves stalking my family

March 21, 2017

It is my bad luck that our family has multiple bank and credit attacks to steal money.  The pace of attempted cyber thefts is like the busted dam California did not bother to maintain.  We are vigilant but the international brotherhood of thieves are stalking all of us in the USA.

I will not pretend to understand how our account information on new cards are hacked days after issue for attempted theft of thousands of dollars.  The odd part is our volume of card use is very small every month.  I respect the thorough and swift interventions by Chase Fraud Department to prevent theft by fraud.  However, the repeated incidents of fraud in recent weeks has me gun shy!  I am a neophyte on computer fraud understanding.  I do not store any of my passwords on the computer because of the repeated hack attacks on Yahoo.  However, my system of defense is blown up and wide open to thieves!

So Back to the Future is my advice to all who are fighting theft by hackers.  Cash money can be counterfeited but I will accept risk of carrying cash.  Cash in paper currency and coin can be stolen, but my loss is limited to what is on me.  I keep $50 in my wallet and probably $35 in my center console in my car.  The debit card is not used.  If $50 is not enough, then I go in person to my credit union and draw out more.  If  the lobby is closed, then I cannot spend more money!  Usually the impulse will pass and the next day has the sun rise as normal.

It drives me nuts to be at a convenience store in a gas station, and see somebody use a debit card to get a pack of cigarettes with a few of us waiting to check out.  Wisconsin in the ancient days of the 1970’s expected cash.  Credit cards charged the retail shop too much, and checks were a piece of paper.  What was a debit card?  It did not exist.  In our enlightened modern times we have opened another door for thieves and scoundrels.

We use our credit card for major purchase items in a store and not online.  We do carry at least $500 in cash when traveling.  Once upon a time, I enjoyed the use of American Express traveler checks but in the last 20 years counterfeiters killed acceptance of these  old safe methods of carrying money.  Thieves and scoundrels are always around to pick our pocket, or grab a purse.  As a Chicago boy, these are a common risk.

Computer theft of account information is more troubling with our life savings for retirement in a brokerage account and our checking or savings accounts.  A buddy from Georgia had a fake sewer pipe in his basement to store thousands in cash.  We are all trying to deceive those intent on robbing us.  Folding $100 bills in a zippered compartment in a money belt is a lot of trouble but is handy when carrying thousands.

Among those trying rob us, are some bankers who had fraudulent credit card accounts opened in accounts not requested by Wells Fargo Bank customers.  I knew a widow who ran a bakery in the South side of Chicago known to keep most of her savings in cash.  During the Depression her local bank president knocked at her door at night.  He asked if he could take $15,000 to keep the bank open. She handed it over, and promptly closed her accounts after return of the loan.  Until she died, she kept all of her cash in her bedroom in the house of her daughter and son in law.

cold hard cash 001

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