Friday, 12 February 2010

The Cost of Progress?

It was to be expected, I guess. I should have seen it coming.

I was robbed today. Of $1000.00 in cold hard cash.

Nothing so old fashioned as a stick-up or a break-and-enter. Nope, it was a thoroughly modern "copy my bank card and attempt to drain my bank account" class of thievery enabled by the wizardry of modern electronics. Completely impersonal and efficient theft. Since November of 2009, I've had to reset my ATM card 4 times (today was the 5th) because of it being potentially compromised. Today it was finally compromised, big time. Only the bank was unable to warn me on time.

My bank assures me they will replace the funds, so the net loss to me will be zero. I am seriously inconvenienced. Expenses we were planning to make this weekend are on hold, because as we all know, those corporate entities we pay our bills to will broker no excuses if they aren't paid on time. Pay yourself first? Yeah, do that and your heat and hydro get cut off....

Moving on.

What leaves me non-plussed is that it never occurred to me to call the police. Someone copying your ATM card and using it to drain your bank account? Eh, not that unusual, happens all the time, just deal with the bank and move on. When I talked about this at work (in a slightly elevated excited kind of way) several co-workers popped up and shared their experiences. Many of them have had this happen to them too.

And nobody called the cops. Not once.

Excuse me? At what point in social history did we start to accept criminal acts as a normal part of our day?

The impersonal aspect of it probably colours our reaction. My person, my home, and my family were not violated in any way. It's just money, money that will be replaced. I assume the bank cares, as they're the entity that takes the loss. I've offloaded the problem onto them.

And then the cynicism kicks in. This happens so often with so little evidence, that the buggers that pulled this off will never be caught.

So today I became a statistic. Just another number recorded in a world of digital numbers. And I am not comforted by that.


Ken Breadner said...

oh, man, that sucks.

I actually think I understand why people don't think to call the police in situations like this. What will the cops do that the bank can't? Crime has gotten so impersonal, as you say, and cops have faces and deal in faces.

Catelli said...

I think it sucks for all of us. My card is probably one of a few hundred that was compromised at the same time. Its such an epidemic we can't trust the Interac network at all anymore.

And that bites. I'm not looking forward to carrying cash for all my purchases again.