Wednesday, January 26, 2005

May you learn from my mistake.

On Friday January 7th I received a phone call from my husband explaining that the President of our bank just called. Mr. T. called to ask if we had been writing checks, large checks, or if we had lost our checkbook.

Patrick called me and asked me to look in my purse for our checkbook.

I did. It was there. So was my driver's license.
Someone must be forging checks.


I put my coat on and went to the bank. I am a take care of it right now kind of gal.

The bookkeeper pulled out a stack of about twelve checks that had my name forged at the bottom and our routing number and our address at the top.

These were not my checks. These were fake checks with fake ink made on a computer with all of our information.

This first batch of checks totaled over $3000.00.

It was very creepy to look at all of the shopping this woman had done--in my name!
Her signature was nothing like mine.
But boy could she shop!!! Toys R Us, Sams, Walmart, Target, jewelry stores, motor parts, Panera Bread (yeah...she's going out to eat and I'm staying home pinching pennies!) and on and on!!!

Yup...she's got a Sam's card in my name. I don't even have a stupid Sam's card!

So my mind was awhirl. How did this woman get our checking information? Was it the internet? Did she work at a store and lift my check?

So the next morning, Patrick and I go into the bank and start signing Forgery Affidavit forms. We have to sign our names four times for each bad check. These are then notarized.

The police have been called.
And we should be hearing from them soon because this crime is a felony.

Let me stop here to tell the best part of this story. The bookkeeper was so on the ball that she noticed these bad checks before they paid out one penny.
She knew our account well enough to, first of all, know that we never bounced a check AND we usually only spend $10 to $50 at a time.

Had we had money in our account (ha ha ha) the bank would have paid out all of that money and we would have had to wait and hope to get it back.

So bless Mary! Our Law and Order lovin' bookkeeper at our little small town bank :o)

In an attempt to keep this short and readable I will cut to the chase.

The creepy male crook is in custody!!!
The total forged checks for us alone was $10,006.00
Thirty Nine checks with our names on them! Ick.
The woman has a Washington State driver's license with my name, a fake number, address and her picture!
The police finally assigned an officer to the case on Monday the 24th. Brother!
The checks were written between Dec.31st and Jan. 9th.
We are getting mean letters from creditors all over the United States and have a lot of leg work to do to clear our credit :o(

The male criminal, who is in custody, looks like Charles Manson.
The police officer who came to talk with us showed us the pictures,
"Here's you." He said. We laughed so hard.
The woman, who looks a little like me, is on the lamb.
Crook #1 is not giving her up!

I discovered that five checks I wrote on Dec. 27th never arrived at their intended location.

We have come to believe that checks I put in our mail box were stolen.
Our mail box is at the end of our driveway.
I have been told one should never put outgoing mail in one's mailbox.


That's the big lesson here. Don't put your mail in your mailbox.
Seems like everyone knew this except me.

Target is the store that cared the most and worked to solve this crime. They caught the crook while he was buying more pre-paid phones at their store.

The police in our little town were too busy to take our case for over two weeks, and only took it on because I went to the police station and nagged ( in a very sweet way, mind you) the Lt.

And well, Madison had already caught the crook.

I feel badly for all of the merchants who took the bad checks.
They must come up with better methods to spot fake checks.
The ink was easily detectable as being fake. The ink ran if a drip of water touched it.

That's the behind the scenes look at our Quiet Life.

That's why I have been signing my name Miz Booshay lately. A little less of my real name on the world wide web is a good idea for now.

One funny...the woman crook spent $500 at Victoria's Secret.

My husband said.
"I wish"

Be wiser than me :o)

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