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Be vigilant

By: Mike Braswell

I want to preface this article by also saying “don’t be like Mike”! So to set the stage for you please allow me to give you some background. I am one weird dude when it comes to carrying things in the pocket of my pants. No keys, change, wallet, etc… So my solution many years ago was to get an old shaving kit I had laying around the house and keep everything in that, then all I would have to do is grab the kit and put it in whatever vehicle I was going to be in. Sounds like a good plan right? It was, until the day that I left it on the bumper of my Jeep. Lea Ann and I were heading to town to get something to eat and I forgot my keys so I yelled at her to get them before she came out of the house. As I was loading Scarlett our dog I laid the kit on the bumper and when Lea Ann came out with the keys I forgot to get the kit off of the bumper. By now you probably see a pattern of forgetfulness on my part. That will be in another article titled Aging In America. As we were heading to town the kit fell off of the bumper in front of MoJo’s car wash. I did not realize this until I went to order food and then discovered I did not have my wallet. I immediately knew what happened and rushed back to hopefully find it, of course I didn’t. Lea Ann immediately began to check our bank account and it literally had not been 5 minutes and whoever found it had already attempted to take $800.00 out of our account through something called Cash App as well as a Straight Talk charge.

I realize that I live on the fringe of truly understanding everything electronic, and I thought that if someone had my debit card to be able to use it they would need my pin number but found out that is not the case. There are individuals in our society who don’t have anything else to do but sit around and see how they can exploit others and that brings me back to those of us who are aging. We are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous people if we do not stay vigilant in our daily transactions. I can say however that my experience has a good ending thanks to Mojos Car Wash who was able to use their cameras to not only identify the person who picked up my bag but to also get a clear image of his tag number. This information was given to the Swainsboro Police Department where Det. Ashley Riner was able to use it to track this person down, who actually still had my bag with all of its contents, and make an arrest two days later. He emphasized that this is not the usual outcome in a case such as this.

Through all of this I have learned that I am way to trusting and flippant in my use of debt cards, and this experience has made me tighten my security efforts and I even purchased a subscription to LifeLock to assist me in my new found paranoia. I would like to say that I did get all of our money restored to our account. My sincere thanks go to the Swainsboro Police Department, Mojos Car Wash, Citizens Bank of Swainsboro, as well as my son Brandon who assisted in contacting the people at Cash App who by the way did nothing to help us. They are based out of San Francisco and would not assist the SPD in their efforts. I encourage everyone to not let your guard down as I did and remain vigilant with you financial information.

As to the changes I have made to keep up with my personal items, I now keep my wallet in my glove box. Or is it in my console? Did I leave it in Lea Ann’s car? Man, I really need to start on that Aging in America piece.

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