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BOTD 08-23-2014 The Nice Lady - A Leti Production

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Skater


Bransom Postmaster
THE NICE LADY
A Leti Production
You are waiting for guests to arrive for a family reunion and realize you need to get some last minute things. You give your 16 yo son, Harold, your Credit/Debit Card (he knows your PIN) and a list and send him to buy what you are missing.

Harold - 16
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While checking out he is approached by a "nice lady"  who says she needs help. She says she is from out of town and her car is broken down and no one will take her check. She is in distress and so Harold "helps" her.  He steps over to the ATM and uses your card and withdraws $200 (USD) and gives it to her and tells her to make the check payable to you.  She gives him the check.

He happily arrives home with the purchased items and the check. He says he was happy he could help the "nice lady." You are concerned but Harold tells you not to worry.  The check bounces.

Your son feels really foolish.

What do you do?


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Padraig


Trailboss
I'll take it as learning experience for both of us. We will report it to the police but the money is probably gone. He meant well and I don't think he will fall in the same trap again. We will talk about it after the family meeting.

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
It'll be about two weeks of no allowance, food, or use of electricity before Harold repays the $200...

I'll be very gracious and allow him as much tap water as he wants during that time and all...

Stevie.

David M. Katz


Marshall
Padraig wrote:I'll take it as learning experience for both of us. We will report it to the police but the money is probably gone. He meant well and I don't think he will fall in the same trap again. We will talk about it after the family meeting.

I think Pad has the right approach here. Harold's young and uneducated about these sort of scams and, sadly, the "nice" lady knew this when she selected her target. Harold's heart was in the right place which means I probably did something right in his upbringing. We will both learn and move on and be glad it was only 200.

Stevie wrote:It'll be about two weeks of no allowance, food, or use of electricity before Harold repays the $200...

I'll be very gracious and allow him as much tap water as he wants during that time and all...

Stevie.

Can he at least have an onion or a rotten turnip per day? You know, to keep up his nutrition and all.  Rolling Eyes   Very Happy 


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StevieWeeks


Trailboss
NO... but he may rummage in the neighbours garbage if he wants...

AFinch


Sherrif
I'm with Pad. It's a life lesson. His heart was in the right place--it's sad that we live in a world where "nice ladies" prey on children, or nice adults. No punishment, just discussion.

ivor


Marshall
He's learnt a lesson. I hope he is going to volunteer to have his allowance cut back in order to repay the $200. If he does then I won't take the full amount from him. If he doesn't , then it's going to happen anyway.

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Jack


Admin
This is theft (taking something that's not yours without borrowing), and I'm so tempted to wear Harold out for it.

The problem is that, in a lot of ways (besides using my money to do it), Harold did the right thing.

In my situation, this isn't a huge problem. On the other hand, there have been times when $200 was the difference in having a roof over my head.

I think the only thing I can do is forgive Harold, and commiserate with him. We're going to have a LOT of long talks about the various things he did wrong, and that were done wrong to him (I HATE people like this, because they ruin the concept of charity, and harm people who really want to do good in the world).

In my family, Harold would have his allowance cut in half until the money is re-paid. At his age, that'll be about 12 weeks. We'll also figure reasonable interest for that, and the two of us will come up with a variety of ways interest can be repaid - extra chores, continued deduction from his allowance, or out of his hide.

That choice will be his.


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MemoryMan


Sherrif
As Padraig says "It IS a learning experience"  

After informing the police we will discuss the issue and he will learn that there is such a thing as "professional niceness" alive and kicking in this world; it is practised successfully by salespeople and on a higher level by con artists and (is there a difference?) Politicians.

I will also ensure that alarm bells ring with him if he is ever approached again by somebody with a hard luck story or who is flashing a cheque book without a supporting card enabling access to an atm.

I will stand the bulk of the loss this time but it is appropriate that he also feels some financial pain to reinforce the lesson.

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squarecutter


Sherrif
MemoryMan wrote:As Padraig says "It IS a learning experience"  

After informing the police we will discuss the issue and he will learn that there is such a thing as "professional niceness" alive and kicking in this world; it is practised successfully by salespeople and on a higher level by con artists and (is there a difference?) Politicians.

I will also ensure that alarm bells ring with him if he is ever approached again by somebody with a hard luck story or who is flashing a cheque book without a supporting card enabling access to an atm.

I will stand the bulk of the loss this time but it is appropriate that he also feels some financial pain to reinforce the lesson.
I agree with all that but truly experience is the best teacher. I'm slightly surprised people send minors out to spend money with their credit card. In the Uk you need to be 18 to be issued one and I think with good reason. Surely that means a minor can't use one either

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Wasn't a credit card but a debit card and it wasn't his to begin with... you let him use it and trusted him with it.  Embarassed oops.. I'm mistaken... my bad... my credit cards can't be used as debit and vice versa and all..

That said, even 41 years ago, when I was sixteen and seventeen, I was in charge of keeping both family cars filled with gas for my parents and used my father's credit card for this purpose without issue. I also was listed on the VISA as an allowed signer as well... but I never used it without permission and I'd have been absolutely terrified to do what Harold did (and no, my daddy didn't spank)

Of course, if I remember correctly, in 1973 one could not get cash advances on your VISA and there were certainly no ATMs either... and $200 was a swingeing sum of money back then, too (our mortgage payment was only $125)

Stevie.


(For an illustration of my Dad's punishment behaviour one could read this story... A Canuck at St. Edwards - Cycling Into Trouble



Last edited by StevieWeeks on Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

Pi Beta


Deputy
Having a close (adult) neighbour who fell for something similar to this, I can well understand a 16 year old falling for it. We are going to report it to the police who will probably just record it and do nothing else. I will also visit the scene to see whether there are any security cameras that might have recorded the approach.

However, since it is probably not the first time this "nice lady" has pulled this, Harold and I will be returning to the scene of the crime at a similar time on two or three days in the following couple of weeks with a camera to see if she returns.

I'm not going to punish Harold in any way - it's a learning experience for him - and, indeed for me.

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm with Padraig.

Kat

Stone Man


Marshall
An unfortunate live lesson for my boy, Harold. He'll likely be jaundiced for much of the rest of his life, which is very unfortunate as it is removing one more caring person from the world of those who need temporary help.

I'm sure he'll offer to repay, and in some ways I feel he should. I'll take some in cash and let him do extra things around home to "cover the rest".

What a rotten thing to do to a caring, trusting young man.

Iconoclast


Trailboss
Several years ago a lady(?) approached me with her kids and explained how she needed $15 for cab fare to get her family to Reynoldsburg (about 15 miles away). I believed her but I knew people sometimes asked for money for drugs, so I offered to drive her and her kids there. I told her to meet me at the back door in 5 minutes. When she did not show up I realized she just wanted to con me out of $15 for drug money. Until that minute I was convinced she was legit!

Since that time I have made it a practice to only offer goods, never cash, if I chose o respond to a request for charity!

I should have remembered to caution my boy about con like this before!

Iconoclast

1strappedboy


Sherrif
I too am sorry that the experience will likely cause my boy to look with suspicion at requests for charity/kindness in the future.

On one hand, I'm glad to know that he was willing to help a person in need and he DID take the check in 'good faith'. The fact that it bounced is certainly not HIS fault and there's no way I'm punishing him for a good deed. We'll take this as a learning experience in that he can learn how the legal system works as I prosecute the 'nice lady' for passing a bad check. Perhaps his sense of right and wrong will be restored as he sees 'justice' done.

Pi Beta


Deputy
1strappedboy wrote:

 We'll take this as a learning experience in that he can learn how the legal system works as I prosecute the 'nice lady' for passing a bad check.  Perhaps his sense of right and wrong will be restored as he sees 'justice' done.

Sadly, I'm sure we'll discover that the cheque had itself been stolen, so it won't lead us or the police to the perpetrator.

John Boy


Sherrif
Ditto Jack and Kier

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Kittykat


Deputy
I first tell Hal that while what he did was noble, don't ever do it again with my money. Then I contact the store manager and get video surveillance of the woman. As I do that, I call the police department and file charges, and hope they catch her.

Kai


Deputy
I'm mostly with the majority THIS time. Wink
Sometimes it's hard to distinguish people with real needs from fakes and betrayers.
But 200$?! Thats what I have left over after landlord and banks took whats theirs - for a MONTH!
Even IF I'd been rich - 200$ doesn't grow on trees.

Jack


Admin
Kai wrote:But 200$?! Thats what I have left over after landlord and banks took whats theirs - for a MONTH!
Even IF I'd been rich - 200$ doesn't  grow on trees.

I started to say, that's why I made Harold pay me back. That's only a partial answer.

In my family, this wouldn't have been a huge problem, but $200 is still a lot of money. For some people, it's the difference between making it and not making it.

More than that though, Harold did this with someone elses money. I try to show my boys some of my finances as they get older. Even if the woman's check had been good, it can take checks time to clear, and Harold wouldn't have known my checking account closely enough to have had any idea if this would be okay or if it would have made things start to bounce.


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