Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weirdest Identity Theft Ever...

You like the library, right?  Who doesn't?  Even though I own and have piles of books throughout the house, leaning like towers in Pisa, waiting to be read and love, or read and regretted, I cannot help myself.  The siren call of aisle upon aisle of free books is one I just can't resist.  So I guess its no surprise that a little over a year since getting my most recent library card, I recently noticed that it had somehow worn through the little plastic hole that keeps it attached to my key fob and fallen off, somewhere in the world, never to be seen again.   I took it as a sign that the universe wanted me to start working my way through a pile or two of my used book store purchases and forget about the library for awhile.

That is, until I opened my email one day a couple weeks ago to find a "notice of items due" email from the library.  What, now?  I hadn't been to the library in weeks, and as I clicked on the list of aforementioned items, I knew for sure that I hadn't been the one to check them out of the library.  The Lincoln Lawyer?  Um. No.  The Green Lantern?  Nope.  The Fantastic Four?  As if.  All week I thought, I have to get down to the library and sort this out.  Somehow their computer had made an error.  Then a friend of mine thought maybe we'd swapped library cards by mistake and they were her books.  Until I shared the titles with her.  Yeah, no.  Not hers.

So.  Some rando had found a library card on the side walk, or at a check out line or wherever, and decided to go shopping for some free books.  Weird.  But I noticed later the same day that I received an "items checked in" email from the library, so I chalked it up to someone mistakenly using my card and perhaps not even realizing it?  Or a glitch in the computer system?  I don't know, but I put it out of my mind as one of your garden variety oddities and moved on.

Until yesterday when I tried taking a few books out of the library.  Still working my way through my pile of books at home, but I took Ethan to meet friends and take out some books for him, and they had multiple copies of Gone Girl and Christopher Moore's new one, Sacre Bleu.  So clearly, the universe had sent me back to the library at a most opportune moment.   So I left my kid in the kid's room, reading a Barbie book to some little curly blond haired girl who was following him around like an adoring puppy and headed to the help desk.

When I went up to explain that I needed a new card and that my card had been used by someone else, I was greeted by "You have a balance of $59 on your account."  But.....but....rando library card bandit (heretofore referred to as RLCB) had returned all the items due, hadn't he/she? I got the email and everything.  The email I didn't read very carefully, apparently.   It seems that RLCB had returned a few of the checked-out-on-my-card items, but not all of them.  In particular, he/she had failed to give back The Fantastic Four and The Lincoln Lawyer, both of which happened not to be books, but DVDs.   Seriously.  Using a stolen library card to steal DVDs from the library.  This is a thing?!?

Now, I know that in the grand scheme of identity theft, this barely even counts.  Especially since the kindly older lady behind the counter all but clutched her pearls in horror when I explained what had happened. " Goodness, that's very disturbing," she empathized as she clicked through a few screens on the computer and then informed me that she'd removed the charges and closed out my account on that card and was that she was issuing me a brand new account number and card.  So Ethan and I were able to check out our Stars Wars, The Seekers, Gone Girl and Sacre Bleu without any fuss, with my new card.  No months of trying to clear my name, no financial ramifications or bad credit to deal with as a result.  Just a lingering feeling of ickiness.

It gives me the heebie geebies that RLCB thought to pick up a piece of bar-coded plastic and head to the library in search of things to steal.  From the library.  It takes a special kind of loser, my friends.  A very special kind of loser.

But anyway.  Now I just have to finish the book I'm currently reading (Case Histories by Kate Atkinson--great characters, a little slow on plot in my opinion, but that's kind of how I like it anyway) and then I'll be spending my weekend with Gone Girl.

Oh, Ethan.  Reading to the little blonde Shirley Temple.  Pure Cute.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

So, so, so random.

I hear you on the library-- I have 3 books to read stacked on my nightstand and still, I find myself there every Thursday. I have been limiting myself to 2-week newish releases b/c I need a deadline!

Glad you got Gone Girl-- it's fantastic!

Ethan reading to that little girl is the cutest thing ever!!