Monday, March 18, 2013

Stolen Credit Card Creates Problems For All Involved

Dear Tazi:

I have an emergency and I need some good, solid advice. My fifteen year old son recently got his sixteen year old girlfriend pregnant. Neither is in the position to support a baby, and I am a single mother working two jobs myself. I told "Kyle" that I would support him and "Latisha" any way that I could, but he took my word a little too far.

Kyle stole my credit card to buy Latisha a diamond engagement ring. He charged $5,000 to my account to buy her a ring bigger than my ex-husband gave me! When I saw the charge, I completely flipped out on Kyle, and asked how he could do such a thing to me. He completely turned things around and accused me of going back on my word, saying that I had no intention of helping him and Latisha. Tazi, that is simply not true, but what I meant was assisting with babysitting, feedings, and diaper duty, not luxury purchases.

Kyle tried to return the ring, but the return period was over by the time I discovered the charge. I explained to the jewelry store what happened but they said that I would need to file a complaint with my credit card company. I did just that, but the jewelry store fought the claim, saying that I knew who charged the ring and had not pressed charges against the perpetrator, so therefore I must be okay with the purchase. Unfortunately, they have Kyle and me recorded on their security footage, with me holding the ring in hand as I tried to return it.

My credit card company has told me that I will be liable for the purchase unless I choose to press charges. Press charges against my own son! Can you imagine? I am unfortunately in a very difficult spot. The cost of paying for the ring is more than Kyle will be able to afford with a baby on the way, and there is no way I will be able to cover the increased monthly payment on my credit card. I am holding onto the ring while I try to sell it, but so far I have had no buyers and Kyle is angry at me for "taking Latisha's ring". I am...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Dear Between A Rock And A Hard Place:

Has your son expressed the least bit of remorse for his crime? I use the word "crime" because he has committed a felony - grand larceny, to be exact. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he committed such a heinous error in a state of panic over the impending birth of his baby, and purchased the ring with the best of intentions - to ask his girlfriend to marry him. This does not excuse his behavior, or his response to you upon being caught.

Kyle needs to learn that there are consequences for his decisions. As he will soon discover, having unprotected sex can and does lead to pregnancy. If there was not a baby to think of, I would advise pressing charges against your son, who would be charged as a juvenile. He would be sent to a training school until the age of 18, and during his incarceration he would remain in school and work towards receiving his high school diploma. The debt would be erased from your credit account and the diamond ring would be returned to the jeweler who carelessly did not check for identification before allowing the diamond ring to be charged to your credit card!

You're welcome!

Because there is a baby involved, the training school is not the best place for your son at this time. Therefore, I would only advise pressing charges as a dead-last resort. I suggest you contact your local chapter of the American Bar Association. They will be able to put you in touch with attorneys who assist people who are in need but have low or no income. If you explain your situation, I am certain that they will be able to fight on your behalf to come up with a reasonable solution for all involved. As I already pointed out, the jeweler did not ask for any form of identification to confirm the signature or check the name on the credit card; your credit card company did not flag the purchase as suspicious and allowed it to go through unquestioned. By ignoring these standard protocols, disaster was allowed to occur. People tend to reply differently to complaints when contacted by an attorney. I suggest you waste no time in contacting one.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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