Frugal crook

As thieves go, this guy was remarkably unambitious:

I got a call from my credit card provider. They were questioning certain transactions made in California last month: to wit, a charge for gas at a Shell station, and a purchase from In n Out Burger. The two together were less than $50.

At least he’s picking name brands. Still:

I’m struck by the modesty of their desires. Why not buy an expensive camera or a set of tires? (These are the items a thief bought on my credit card last time I was robbed.) Why would anyone risk getting a criminal record for a hamburger?

So if you’re planning to steal a credit-card account — skimmers were found at a Circle K in Edmond this week, so clearly somebody is — you may as well spend big; the jail looks the same regardless.



  1. fillyjonk »

    15 April 2016 · 5:33 am

    I have been told, by People In The Know, that small transactions are attempted first using a stolen CC number to see if it works. THEN they buy the camera or the set of tires if they still get away with it.

    Occasionally my CC provider has called me when I’ve ordered from the UK or Canada (mostly books, but occasionally yarn). I admit I laugh and once I said, “If it’s an order for yarn, it’s almost certainly me that ordered it” but I assume they still have to check if something triggers their “unexpected expense” sensors.

  2. McGehee »

    15 April 2016 · 6:28 am

    My wife tried to pay for something at Walgreens a couple of weeks ago and the card issuer made like a championship bucking bull. I’d pity the poor card-heisting sap who tried to use that card at Shell or In-n-Out.

    It wasn’t just “we won’t honor the card,” either. Our recently acquired financial guy actually called my wife, and we both got texts. I’m surprised SEAL Team Five and a Half didn’t descend on the store.

  3. jsallison »

    15 April 2016 · 8:49 pm

    Bought a set of walnut grips for a pistol from a woodcarver in Rumania coupla years ago. About 6 mos later got a call from my credit union asking if I’d just made a 1 euro purchase in Bucharest. A test run, if you will. I hadn’t, they killed the card and re-issued. Funny, didn’t squawk at all when I dropped 40 for the grips in the first place.

  4. ETat »

    16 April 2016 · 7:17 am

    Let’s see how my credit “bull barn” will react when I travel to Quebec in a few days. Then I’ll see if they should be a subject to agility training.

  5. CGHill »

    16 April 2016 · 10:44 am

    I have only one credit card, with a modest limit. My other forms of plastic are in fact debit cards, one tied to my bank account, one refillable. To the extent possible, I avoid using the actual check card, lest someone raid my bank account; those others max out at lowish levels.

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