About a year ago, I was picking up some pizza for dinner, and I made a huge mistake. I’m not sure how, but I let my phone get stolen. Fifteen minutes later, I was home checking my emails when I realized someone was purchasing apps on my phone with credits from my Amazon account. It was happening right now! That couldn’t be right. I searched high and low, and sure enough, my new phone I had recently purchased was gone. Replacing it was going to be costly.
The first thing I did was shut down the ability to make purchases on Amazon.com and changed my password. In a matter of minutes, I was back at the pizza place hoping they would have seen my phone or the person that had it. Of course, they hadn’t. Well, now I had a problem. How many accounts were accessible from that phone? It didn’t matter. Almost all of them could potentially be accessed through my email account which was logged in on that phone. I had to change everything, but I had to hurry. The thief just opened up an Oovoo video chat account using my email address. Oh, no you don’t! This is war. Whoever you are, thief, you’ve just messed with the wrong girl. I had to change every single password I had and shut down the thief’s ability to access my accounts. He was actively trying to get everything he could from me, and I had to put a stop to it quickly.
Once my accounts were safe, it was time to assess the damage. Let’s look at this Oovoo account, shall we? Two can play this game. I can’t guess your password, but I can request a new one. No more video chat for you, thief. Now, who are you? He used my email address, but not my name. Could it be? Yes, I believe so. The thief used his own name, and look… there’s his picture. Meet Sincere. I’ll be nice and withhold his last name.
Let’s see if he has a Facebook page. Indeed, he does, and there are more pictures of my thief.
Uh, oh. Why am I not surprised to learn he’s a thug. That’s okay. I have enough evidence gathered. It’s time to file a report with the police. I want my phone back. I knew exactly who the thief was. I was about to find out his location too. Hello, Google services. Since my device was logged in to Google, I could locate my phone to within 72 feet. Bingo. Now I know exactly where you and my phone are, Sincere. Soon, so will the police. Now to use a handy little tool and make the phone “scream”. I made that phone scream over and over for a few hours well into the night. Once I had annoyed him enough to shut the phone down, I remotely killed the phone. Good luck trying to use it now, Sincere. Your joyride through my device and personal information is officially over.
I called the non-emergency line for the county police on my husband’s phone and told them my story. Now, all I had to do was wait until an officer was available to take my statement. I expected the wait to be a couple of hours, but I had every reason to be patient. I had done all of the detective work myself. It was an open and shut case for the local authorities. All they had to do was go knock on his door and retrieve my phone, right?
After a couple of hours, I got a phone call. The detectives were too busy to come out to my house to see the evidence I had gathered. I had to give my statement over the phone. So, I told the officer my story, but I could tell my search for my phone had come to a dead-end. The officer didn’t even want to take down the serial number for my phone. Didn’t they need that when they found Sincere? How would they know if a phone in his possession was mine? I wasn’t ever going to get my phone back. The county’s finest didn’t care about a stolen phone or protecting my identity. I was out of luck.
A couple of days later, I decided I wanted to listen to some music, so I went on YouTube to watch some of my favorite music videos. Wait, what’s this? Sincere had been here and left a footprint. He made his own playlist. Nice. You’ve made your point, Sincere. I get it. Yes, two can play this game, but now you’re done. No more YouTube for you. It looks like I forgot to change the password on one account. What other accounts had I forgotten? Just to be sure, I had to change everything again. Good luck getting into anything else, Sincere. Our little game of annoying each other is done. I’m tired of playing.
I highly doubt the local police ever did anything other than file the report about my stolen phone. It’s been over a year, and that phone is long gone. I gave the cops their case against Sincere on a silver platter, and they did nothing. That’s okay. I believe in karma. One day, you’ll get what you deserve, Sincere. You may ask yourself, “Why did this happen to me?” Well, when you act like a thug, that’s what you get. Eventually, we all get exactly what we deserve.
I ended up switching phone companies a year ago. My cell carrier didn’t exactly handle my phone problem they way they should have. I had been having some questionable items on my phone bill anyway, and there wasn’t much I could do about it. Switching carriers didn’t go as planned. That’s a story for another day, but I’ll tell you that insult was added to injury when not one, but two sales people at the new carrier goofed up the switch and cost me $350 in the process. Why, oh why are cell phones so necessary these days? All of them find some way to rob you in the end. That’s life, though, isn’t it? Nobody ever said it was going to be fair. But, I’m a firm believer that each of these bad experiences we go through are meant to teach us a lesson in some way. We may not always know why bad things happen to us, but each experience is a teachable moment. We are meant to learn from these lessons. They help us grow and become better people, hopefully. I try to be grateful for those experiences in my life that have been less than pleasant. Sometimes I even wear them like little badges of courage, and why not? Each terrible moment has helped make me who I am. I’ve made it through some tough times, and I’m proud of that.