Monday, January 21, 2013

Highly Likely, Unlikely, Never In A Million Years

Right after the Christmas holidays I was doing some online banking. I gasped when I saw the balance for one of my Visa cards. I always have a rough idea of how much I have outstanding, and was pretty sure there was no way I could owe that much. I clicked on the account and saw someone in South Africa had helped themselves to an airline ticket, compliments of my Visa card.

I knew Visa would take the charge off my account, so I wasn't really worried about that part. The bigger problem was trying to figure out which things were connected to that card, and which were connected to my other Visa card. You see, I hadn't kept a list. The idea had never crossed my mind. That lapse meant I spent several hours sorting things out instead of the ten minutes it would have taken had I been more diligent. So please learn from my mistake and jot down what charges and accounts are connected to your credit card. Credit card fraud is rampant and it is highly likely you will deal with it at some point.

The next scenario is probably unlikely to happen to you. For the past two days our neighbourhood has been inundated by a huge flock of birds. (I think they are house finches, but I'm not 100% sure.) There are at least a hundred of them, swirling and swooping in a winged mass over the area. The birds are an impressive sight, as are the digested remains of mountain ash berries they have left from one end of Juniper Ridge to the other.

The digested berries are everywhere - the ground, the back deck, and the railing

When I took Fergus out to the backyard yesterday and saw the little orange plops decorating the snow I was puzzled at first, wondering what they could be. Then the motion of the birds moving over a nearby tree caught my eye. The moment I realized what had happened was the same moment Fergus snarfed up one of the digested berries. I'm sure mountain ash berries are not good for dogs, but that's the thing about dogs. They don't seem to understand the subtleties of food verses non-food. If they did they wouldn't eat things like slippers and plastic wrap.

I think it is safe to say this final thing would never happen to you in a million years.


There are, after all, some things that can only happen at the Hammond house.



18 comments:

  1. The last picture made me laugh outloud - David leaving his leg with the shoes (or did Mom put it there out of the way?). Credit card fraud is everywhere, and it sucks. Dogs - aren't they grand?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! No, I didn't leave it there. It's David's swim leg and he parked it there after he was at the pool last week. It took me asking multiple times to get him to move it out of the way. :-)

      Delete
  2. Oh so that is what those little drops of orangey red things are on my driveway...we too have had the swarm of birds in the neighborhood...they are a site to see aren't they.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have them on your side of Kamloops too? Those birds are really making the rounds! I just don't want to walk under a flock of them. :-)

      Delete
  3. Wow--that's terrible that you were a victim of credit card fraud...I don't keep up-to-date records of what I put on the card since we just have one, but I am diligent about looking at the monthly statements to make sure there isn't anything that isn't ours on it.

    I would say that if Fergus gets sick on those digested berries, it may make him think twice the next time. Although that may be me giving him more credit than he deserves! And that is quite funny that David plops his leg down in the middle of all the shoes. Appropriate though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recommend to anyone who travels and depends on a credit card while they are away to have two cards. When credit card fraud/theft happens your card is immediately canceled, and if you are away when it happens you could be in trouble. It takes a couple weeks to get a replacement card.

      Trust me, nothing would make Fergus think twice about snarfing down something. :-)

      The leg by the shoe rack isn't nearly as funny as when he used to use an outgrown leg as a doorstop!

      Delete
  4. Growing up, I was amazed by the variety of berries that grew under the phone and power lines in our neighborhood. I wondered where the birds had eaten before depositing their...ah, droppings here. Birds really like the Sycamore tree in my neighbor's yard. When I park in the driveway, they make a game out of dive-bombing my car. The odd thing is that of my car is not there, they leave the driveway alone.

    I'm glad you got the credit card fraud straightened out. I've worried a smart thief might process small amounts that I wouldn't notice.

    Not sure what to say about the leg...maybe a big umbrella stand near the shoe rack would be a good place to keep it???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's weird that the birds only hang out when your car is around to dive-bomb. Maybe they think it is an enemy bird trying to move into their territory!

      I think the credit card companies are better at spotting a string of small, odd charges than they are one whopping big one. I keep thinking that as consumers we end up paying for all this theft. The credit card companies charge business owners enough to make up for all the fraud, and the business owners turn around and charge us more to cover the cost of using the credit card service.

      An umbrella stand is an excellent idea. :-)

      Delete
  5. Wow, South Africa? My identity thief was from Akron, Ohio. Much less glamorous. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. South Africa makes for a better story than Akron. :-)

      Delete
  6. Credit cards.....as convenient as they are.....sometimes it's just too annoying.....

    I'm going to make a list of everything that is affiliated with our cards...just as a precaution.....thank you for the tip.

    HaHa...a leg in the hall.....don't let Fergus get at it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I'm glad I could help someone avoid the pain I went through sorting it all out.

      Fergus only likes David's real leg - the one with the smelly foot attached. :-)

      Delete
  7. OH, NO! I'm glad you were able to identify and remedy the false charges on your card. I'm fortunate, so far, to not have had any major encounters with identity theft. It's so violating that somebody half-way around the world can effect a person so directly, and without warning.

    As far as dogs and their consumption... I swear, my boy dog, Danger, has a cast-iron stomach and he's completely indiscriminate when it comes to potentially edible items. :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're lucky your dog has a cast-iron stomach! Fergus has been sick a few times from stuff he has managed to ingest. The worst was the time he swallowed plastic wrap. It must have had something stuck to it that tasted good - he ate quite a chunk of it!

      Delete
  8. How awful to have your credit card details stolen, thank you about the warning of keeping tabs of what you have spent.
    I hope the birds have now finished the berries and aren't leaving any more presents for Fergus! Daisy is like Fergus and will eat anything edible!
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The birds are still here! If anything, there are even bigger flocks of them now than when I posted. Fergus must not have liked that first one he tried. He hasn't eaten another one since. Interesting to hear Daisy will also eat anything. I wonder if it is a Westie trait?

      Delete
  9. Apparently, January is the month for discovering credit card fraud charges, happened to me a couple of weeks ago and the bank was the one who caught it, since it was out of country purchase generally banks flag those unless you tell them your leaving the country. I hope everything gets resolved for you.

    Don't those birds know to fly south for the winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry this has happened to you too! I know several other people who have had trouble with their credit cards over the past month. I have resolved all the issues now, and hope you have too. I must say that one of the things that bothers me the most is the fact my bank didn't catch what was obviously a fraudulent charge. I'm glad yours did!

      Delete