Saturday, June 11, 2011

Did I Over React?

Hi Everyone,

Earlier this week an incident happened that I may have over reacted to.  I'm going to tell you about it to see what you think.

I was in the checkout lane at a local store chain.  Hubby was sitting comfortably on some lawn furniture waiting for me to check out.  There were four people in front of me and a couple behind me.

When I stand in line anywhere I start making out my check and put everything on it except for the amount.  The line moved slowly because everyone had a lot of purchases, and the little boy and girl in the cart in front of me were getting antsy.  I was talking to their mom a bit and smiling at the kids and talking to them.

The couple behind me were speaking to each other in Spanish, so I didn't pay any attention to them, since I didn't understand them.  One member of the party was talking on the cell phone, but the girl was darting around tapping him on the legs.  When they started getting loud and crowding me, I glanced behind me and noted the male had his phone pointed my direction.  At this time, I realized they weren't carrying any items to buy.  That is when I became concerned because they had been behind me almost the whole time I had been in line.

Hubby came walking up because he'd become worried that they might be trying to get my purse, which was lying in the cart.  The couple disappeared right after my husband appeared.

When we got to the cashier, I told him I suspected they were trying to get a picture of my check, and my husband told the cashier what he thought.  The young man took what we told him seriously and called his manager.  The manager came right away to talk to us, and we explained what we thought might be going on.

The manager immediately checked the security cameras, but since we were so far back when it happened it wasn't caught on tape.  My husband was able to give a description of the couple, and the manager said he would walk around to see if he could spot them.  Both, hubby and I believed they had left the premises.

Worried, we immediately went to our bank closed out our checking account leaving just enough money there for outstanding checks.  We opened another checking account transferring most of our money to the new account.

We, also, had some direct deposits going into our account that had to be changed.  It was a hassle, but our credit union was wonderful to work with and took care of everything for us.  Both our credit union and the store chain took this matter very serious.

Now, to why I'm wondering if I over reacted; I have no way of knowing what this young couple was up to.  Were they trying to get my purse or get information from my check?  I have no way of knowing for sure.  There actions were enough to arouse suspicions in both me and my husband.

Hubby told me I should have turned around and told them to back off.  Instead, I tried to ignore them.

What would you have done in this instance?

Thank you for reading. Until next Sunday have a great week.



Anonymous said...

I think it's a shame that society has come to this, but better safe than sorry in today's world.

Saranna DeWylde said...

Whatever makes you feel safe. You have to live in your life, so "over reacting" is relative.

I probably would have asked him what the hell he was doing. :)

Sandra Marshall said...

Thank you for your comment, kayspringsteen. That's what I thought.

Sandra Marshall said...

Hi Saranna,

That's what my hubby would've done. As it is, hubby scared them off. lol Just didn't know if it was in time.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

No I don't think you over reacted. Always act on the side of precaution, and it will save you in the long run.
I'm 50 years old now, but when i was 14 we were informed by the FBI believe it or not that someone had obtained my SS#. I was 14 for goodness sake. It was only through an accident that it was discovered as the people that used it tried to buy a car using my SS# to get a drivers license.
I haven't used a checkbook in 10n year since the debit card as I have become safer over the years. We traveled constantly from 2001-2007, so we took no chances thank goodness.
These days it pay to pay attention to what goes on around you, and to make changes to be safe rather than pay the price later.
We have been considering signing up for LockLock.
It is the best way to protect yourself.
They are guaranteed. Here is the website.
We are waiting to go into town on Monday to sign up as we don't have a land line out here on the mountain in the interior of Alaska.
Here is the link.

Identity Theft Protection - Avoid ID & Credit Fraud - LifeLock:

Good luck and wishing you the best!

Darcy ~ A reader

Carol Ericson said...

I guess I'd need to know more info before I could judge whether or not you were overreacting. Was your check sitting out in the open where they could get a good look at it? What could someone actually do with information from a check? My instinct is that if you felt uncomfortable then something was probably wrong - whatever it was. People have machines they can attach to ATMs now that are fake, and these machines can get info from your debit card - so I don't put anything past anyone! And we do have Lifelock. P.S. Use a debit card instead of writing checks - lol

Kate Richards said...

I think under any circumstances you were very aware of your surroundings and should be proud of that! My business has been hit, several different ways over the years and it makes us all wary and feeling vulnerable. I'm glad you were able to take care of it just in case.

Sandra Marshall said...

Darcy, thank you for your comment. I appreciate the link, and I'll be checking it out. You say the Debit is safer, but I've been hearing it's not nearly as safe as using a Credit card. So glad to hear from readers.

Sandra Marshall said...

Carol, I was not looking behind me just that one glance. I just became very uneasy because they were so close to me that if I stepped back I would have bumped into them.

My hubby doesn't believe in using debit cards, and I have heard on the news that debit cards aren't as safe as first thought. Also, my hubby doesn't believe in internet banking either, so I don't use it for our personal account but just for my business account. Smile.

I'm not sure what crooks could do with a information from a check, but I'm sure if there's a way they would know.

Sandra Marshall said...

Thank you for your comment, Kate. I'm so sorry your business has been hit so many times.

K.T. Bishop said...

You did the right thing for trying to protect yourself from sickos...

Sandra Marshall said...

Thanks, K.T.

Linda LaRoque said...

I don't think you over reacted. It's better to be safe than sorry. And we know alot of that goes on.

I rarely write checks. A friend of mine experienced check theft. They bought 1000.00 worth of tvs at Walmart. The only check she'd written, that she could think of, was to her church.

Amy Atwell said...

I'm also of the "better safe" camp. It's sad that identity theft and creating fake checks or stealing credit card numbers is so rife these days. I'm glad the store employees took you seriously.

LuAnn said...

I also agree that it's better to be safe than sorry. All a person needs from a check is the routing number of the bank to wreak havoc!

Jill James said...

You can never overreact when it is your money. It is so easy these days to scam people. They have machines, look like a handheld phone. All they have to do is walk by your purse or wallet, Bing! they have all your credit card info to make counterfeits. Scary world we live in. Better safe than sorry.

Bellinda said...

No I don't think you reacted. It is sad that we have to be suspicious of everyone today. As prices go up at the stores and gas pumps, people get desperate and crooks get bolder and smarter. Better to be safe than sorry later. It may get to where cash only is the best option.

Sandra Marshall said...

Thanks, Linda. I'm so sorry about your friend.

Thanks, Amy. I was impressed with the store employees.

Thanks, LuAnn. That's what our credit union said.

Thanks, Jill. Yes, it's a scary world we live in.

Sandra Marshall said...

Belinda, believe it or not my husband is almost to the point of cash only. Smile! Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Scary, scary. No way did you overreact. Jean PS, for some reason can't get this through except as anonymous..

Lynn Spangler said...

I definitely don't think you overreacted at all, Sandy. With companies now taking checks by phone for purchases, all those idiots would have needed was the routing and checking acct number and they could have been off to the races. You did the right thing by closing down your acct and getting a new one.

In the future, I would have your checks ready to go before you get in line. That way, all you have to do is add the amount and hand it to the cashier. I've seen people start their checks in their cars before they enter the store. Unfortunately it's hard to miss since most use the steering wheel to write on.

At any rate, you did the right thing all the way around in my opinion.

Sandra Marshall said...

Yes, it is scary, Jean. I've been having trouble with blogger lately. I can't use my Google account any more. Thanks for getting here.

Sandra Marshall said...

Thanks, Lynn. Until, I did this blog, I didn't know all they needed was my routing number to use my account. I will take your advice.

Marianne Stephens said...

Unfortunately, we all have to be so careful these days. Who knows what they were up to? It is possible to use cell phones and take a photo of someone's check. It's suspicious that they were in line and had nothing to buy.
It's good that you and your husband were so vigilant and acted quickly.

Mia Marlowe said...

If a write a check a month it's a rarity, but that's because I find using a DC or CC so much easier. That said, there is plenty of info on a check that someone with skills might make use of. I think you did what you need to do in order to feel safe and I'm sure your bank appreciates your pro-active stance.

Sandra Marshall said...

Thank you, Marianne. I'm not even the suspicious type. If they had just stood in line quietly, I would never have noticed anything. lol

Thank you, Mia. Yes, they did appreciate our pro-active stance. The store did, too.

Sell WoW Account said...

by the way they are acting, they kinda looked suspicious to me. i think you did the right thing in making a new account.=]

Sandra Marshall said...

Thanks, Sell WoW.