Have you experienced any type of theft concerning your bank account or business? If so, it might have hurt you in many ways, along with your family.

Have you experienced any type of theft concerning your bank account or business? If so, it might have hurt you in many ways, along with your family.

For example, a beauty products company with a vendor cart in a mall illegally extracted $3,500 out of our friend’s credit card account. This was two weeks before Christmas last year. Our friend’s Christmas with her family was ruined.

A man we know, whom we’ll call Charles, owned a restaurant in western North Carolina. He hired a manager who cheated him out of money for over a year. Charles lost his business.

"The minute I suspected something was wrong, I should have taken over all the money issues myself," Charles told us. "This cost me a lot, because my oldest child could not enter college on time last year. My wife almost left me, but thank goodness she didn’t.

She kept telling me our manager was a thief. She was angry because I was too lenient and didn’t watch him like a hawk or fire him."

Do you realize the impact that financial problems can have on a marriage, friendship, or family system?

When money problems arise, a domino effect begins. If you have a shaky issue in one area, it can affect many other areas of your life.

All of us need to pay close attention to every bank transaction, every online expenditure and every deposit’s accuracy.

For example, a woman we know was scammed a couple of days ago on an "Ask the Doctor" website. Well, rather, she was almost scammed. We’ll call her Cindy.

"I entered my debit card information to get an email from an advisor on a health issue," says Cindy. "Instead of being charged $1.49, as the website told me it would charge, they tried to run my card for $49. Luckily, I only had $35 in my tiny account I use only for online expenses, so it was declined."

Cindy shared with us a story of a scammer that kept taking $40 out of her friend’s bank account for three months in a row. "Once they got by with that, they upped it to $140 one month and $240 the next," Cindy told us. "Her health insurance got cancelled when her check bounced!"

Nit-picking finances is no fun, but one small thief can turn your life upside down.

These tips can help you monitor your situations:

— Check every deposit and every debit online. Do this the minute you’re back in your home or office where you can concentrate.

— Watch your credit card activity closely. While no one has time to comb through transactions constantly, do check what’s going on every three days or so. One hacker can wipe out thousands of dollars.

While we like to think that our credit card companies, the local police, or merchants will help, this is simply not the case in many instances.

Consider the woman whose credit card was charged for the beauty products mentioned above. She went to the mall manager, the local police, and her credit card company. No one would help.

"It’s crazy, but the mall manager took the side of the vendor who sold the beauty products," the victim, whom we’ll call Deborah, told us. "The days of financial rescue are over. I got my money back because my husband met with the vendor and took a TV news reporter with him. Thank God for the media."


(Judi Light Hopson is the Executive Director of the stress management website USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.com . Emma Hopson is an author and a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.)


(c)2015 Person to Person

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