Transcript: Episode 59 (The Investigation)

Nick: Today’s episode is entitled, “The Investigation.”

Virginia: You guys are putting a lot of pressure on me.

Andrew: It sounds interesting.

Nick: You’re the one that went all Nancy Drew on us.

Andrew: She went full-on investigation.  She has a spreadsheet.  She seemed really excited to tell this story.

Nick: Go ahead.  Tell us your story.

Virginia: Ok, so January I set up bill pay.

Nick: Online?

Virginia: Well, it’s online, but it sends an actual check.  Not sure why.

Andrew: I think Bank of America does this.  You set it to mail a check.  It automatically debits it from your account, cuts a check, and mails it out.

Virginia: Yes.  But, the check never showed up.

Andrew: And it’s already pulled from you account?

Virginia: Well, it gets pulled from the account when you deposit it.  So, it never showed up.  The reason that we know that is because we’re on the HOA board, and we were basically sending it to ourselves.  It was kind of a way of short-circuiting the whole “write a check every month.”  It sounds stupid in retrospect, but the goal was to make life easier.  But, it never showed up.  There was a lot going on in January, and I thought that maybe my husband had made a mistake.  Sure enough, I go on my bank’s site, and it had been cashed.

Andrew: And you knew that it hadn’t be legitimately cashed because you didn’t cash it.

Nick: Who else has access to this account?

Virginia: The other board member has access, but she would never do that.  She was never even a suspect.

Andrew: The person you least suspect is the person who did it.

Virginia: In this case, the answer is no.  I had to disappoint you both.

Andrew: The next thing you’re going to tell me is that you can’t reroute natural gas by hacking into the gas company’s main frame.

Nick: You didn’t run into the arms of a black man, did you?

Virginia: No.  Not at all.  Not even close.

Andrew: So you decided to open an investigation?

Virginia: No.  I decided to call my bank, like any normal, rational person would do.

Andrew: That makes sense.

Virginia: I told them that the check had been stolen.  I don’t really understand why it took them so long to understand that it was stolen.

Andrew: They probably don’t deal with checks all that often.  Who pays with a check now?  There are a ton of stores that won’t take checks anymore.

Virginia: All of our deposits for our condo are checks, and a decent number of these people actually have them mailed by bill-pay.  A third of the residents actually send checks via this same process.

Andrew: You could do credit card for 5%, and I bet everyone would switch.

Virginia: We looked into that.  There was a resident who paid by credit card before we switched banks, and we told him he’d have to pay 3% more to cover the fees.  He said, “No way!” and started sending us checks.  Anyway, my check was for about $330.  All of these people send their checks to our PO box.

Nick: Therefore making you guys liable?

Virginia: I wouldn’t say that.  It’s just that if there’s some employee at the post office who is taking mail, then we have a big problem.  Our first suspicion was somebody at the UPS store.  But, I went to the bank first because that’s what you do with a credit card theft.

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