CHAPTER 38 Go Ahead....Push THE Button

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Copyright 2015 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"Offenders who commit identity theft may or may not be known to the victim. There are many ways the offender may obtain your personal information or information related to your personal financial accounts. Information can be obtained from trash bins or at places where you conduct your personal business. It can be obtained from identity thieves who work at banks, mortgage firms, social or credit agencies, city-state-federal agencies, auto dealerships, collection agencies, utility service providers, telemarketers, doctor's offices, merchants and other businesses that have access to your personal information or credit card information. Identity thieves also contact victims via telephone and e-mail requesting personal information. Information can also be obtained from obituaries and taken out of residential garbage cans, mailboxes and mail facilities."

New Jersey State Police

Morning brought two large trucks to the A-Frame on Parcel A dropping off two dumpsters. I called my Parents to let them know so they didn't panic from hearing the noise.

"How did you sleep?" asked Dad.

"It was a little rough. I woke up 3 a.m. I started worrying about the two other parcels [Parcel C and D] going on the auction block at the end of the month. I ended up opening up my Code Book in the middle of the night and reading the codes for anxiety, panic, viruses, bacteria, and insomnia."

I had propped my pillows up and held a little flashlight in one hand of the darkened bedroom, reading off the Codes silently, again and again hoping to push back the tidal wave of emotions that threatened to overtake me. It was a constant battle. I wondered if I would ever win. My back was still tight from the adrenals, like I had two rods of heated steel running down parallel on my spine. Though they had felt better than the night before.

"Did it help?" Dad asked.

"A little. I finally got back to sleep."

"That's good," Dad said.

It was easier to keep the anxiety at bay during the day when I could distract myself. Moving the never ending stuff was great physical labor. But it's hard when you're ready for sleep and there's nothing left to distract you from all the thoughts spinning away in your mind.

You're in your bed left with the reality of you in that moment. You're left with how you truly feel, and what you truly think. It's in those moments, when you turn the lights off, when the house is quiet, that darkness comes calling.

Mom's voice was in the background.

"What?" I asked Dad.

"Your Mother wants to know about the dumpster trucks."

"I already told you. They dropped off two dumpsters at the house," I told him.

I could hear the beginning of one of her Episode's in the background. Poor Dad.

"Sweetheart, relax. There's no reason to get upset," Dad said to her.

"I'm not upset," she said.

"Yes you are. I can hear it in your voice," I said over the phone.

Dad told me later on that day that it was looking like a bad day for the team, but that he had gotten her to settle down. How he stopped her from spinning up into a full on blow-out Episode was beyond me. I had no such tricks or talents with her. She was beyond my skills and patience.

"Come and sit down," he told my Mom in a calm voice.

"I don't want to. I'm going to go over there...."

"Come and sit down a minute," he said again.

"I'm going over there," Mom said.

"Come and sit down a minute."

Finally she came and sat down in the chair next to him.

"Is this our property?" he had asked her.

"Well, of course."

"Is it our property or not," he asked.

"Yes it is," Mom had replied.

"Okay. If it's our property then let's act like it's our property. Getting upset every time someone goes over there [to the A-Frame], doesn't say to the Universe that we believe the property is ours."

She agreed.

"So, if it's ours then whatever the Bank does or doesn't do, or whomever comes over to that house, doesn't affect us. Because we own that property already. Now let's act like it."

Mom had always signed for sweepstakes and lotteries my whole life. She was hoping to be one of a small percentage that won. But most cases she ended up wasting her time and money. She was grasping for straws much more these days.

We're in the middle of all this massive downturn with the Foreclosures, and Mom starts getting calls from these scammers on the phone. She's talking to them like they're her friend and they can really help her bail us out. What a fucking joke!

One day I heard her talking to the Scammers. She's telling them her routing number for our joint family bank account. Mom thinks not only are the Scammers "For Real" but they're actually going to wire us money. She thinks her connection to them has "Saved Us".

I wanted to throw up. Here I had this very intelligent, coherent, albeit slightly stressed person, a woman with a lot of life experience, and she's going to be the one Scammed. I told Dad what was going as soon as he walked into the room. He and Mom got into a tangle about it.

"So you think you're going to get them to give you money?" Dad asked.

"Yes, I do."

"You think you can scam the scammers?"

"Yeah, I do," Mom said.

"Sweetheart..." Dad said.

It was sad. This was the last thing in the world we needed to be dragged into. The Scammers were the last people in the world who would help us in any way. In fact, the Scammers were the opposite of helpful.

Just their energy alone was damaging. They were vultures and vampires, each and every one of them. Their reason for being on the planet was to get money out of helpless, desperate, and lonely people. They were the worst scavengers around, and with the Internet, they could get to you from anywhere in the world.

The next time they called, Dad answered the phone.

He said, "Don't ever call this phone number again. You call it again and I will report you to the authorities."

Mom had turned into a desperate woman and who could blame her.

"From January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Web site received 336,655 complaint submissions. This was a 22.3% increase as compared to 2008 when 275,284 complaints were received. Of the 336,655 complaints submitted to IC3, 146,663 were referred to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies around the country for further consideration. The vast majority of referred cases contained elements of fraud and involved a financial loss by the complainant. The total dollar loss from all referred cases was $559.7 million with a median dollar loss of $575. This is up from $264.6 million in total reported losses in 2008."

U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center

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