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COLUMN: Someone else’s dime

This is a term which has been used over the years to basically mean that you are getting a free ride at someone’s else’s expense. As far back as original sin, men have looked for ways to get what they want without having to pay the price required.

Jacob – from the Bible and not my son – pretended to be his older brother Esau in order to receive the birthright from his father Isaac. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers because they were jealous of him. King David had Bathsheba’s husband killed so he could be with her.

Bank robbers, con artists, and other criminals are always looking for ways to take from unsuspecting victims. Many times, more work is put into taking something illegally than one could actually work for. But then that would require actual physical work. Many consider it a challenge to be able to take without paying the price. They always want what others have worked for.

Perhaps they failed to read the 10th commandment, in which God told us not to covet what others have. He also told us not to steal, but why worry about that one either.

Moving forward to the 21st century, men have found even other ways to get by on the back of others. If you use a debit or credit card chances are that card has been compromised. This means that someone has obtained your account number to make charges on your card. Now before you get worried about your bank, it has happened to at least five of the banks and credit unions in Hartselle and probably all at some point in time.

Also the card numbers could have been captured many months ago. So trying to remember where it could have happened probably will not work either. There are criminals who specialize in this crime and it is not occurring just at a local level, since most problems occur away from home. One thought is the numbers are captured when they are uploaded to a credit processing facility. Other ways may even include adding a device which would attach to the credit card swipe area on ATM’s, Red Box machines, and even pay at the pump gasoline pumps.

The best advice is to be aware of where you are using your card, keep it in your possession and keep track of transactions on your accounts. Thankfully most financial institutions track the activity on credit and debit cards and will contact you if your card has unusual activity or is used in an area unusual to you.

Randy Garrison is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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