It’s safe to say that families will have little arguments and disagreements from time to time.
But it’s a special kind of terrible when a person decides to steal from one of their family members.
One woman was recently the victim of this, according to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwraaitaniece chose to stand up for herself and spoke to her relative about it.
But surprisingly, the rest of the family didn’t feel the same way, leaving the Original Poster (OP) to wonder if she was somehow in the wrong for being protective of her own money.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not wanting to help my niece out after she robbed me?”
The OP was recently taking care of her niece while her elder sister was on vacation.
“I’m 22 [Female], my niece is 16 [Female], and my sister is 34 [Female].”
“My niece lives with us at the family home with our parents. My sister is unreachable for the next 2 weeks because she had a vacation planned with her boyfriend who she met on a dating app.”
“I was working online when she asked if she could order food, so I gave her my card. She ordered it while sitting next to me, and the food came, and that was it.”
But then the OP found a few surprises on her bank account a few days later.
“It wasn’t until a few days later that I started getting unknown charges and lost a couple of hundred dollars.”
“It took a lot of calling around and I went from calling my bank to these places to wherever could help me. Some of the money I got back, but some had no refunds.”
“I called around more only to figure out and found out it was clothes and makeup things.”
The OP confronted her niece with her suspicions.
“And since I don’t buy these sort of things, I went to ask my niece first because nobody else in the house buys extravagant stuff like these.”
“I told her if she did it, I at least wanted her to understand that she should’ve known better.”
“I can’t get my sister in touch and niece doesn’t work so I’m out the money.”
“My niece proceeds to get emotional and says she just wanted to fit in with her friends because she’s doing online summer school, and since she’s online, she can’t meet more people.”
“And while I can understand that, I barely make enough to save up while I’m paying some bills at home.”
“I plan to let it go until her mother comes back, but I told her I wouldn’t be taking her shopping or to friends’ places in the meantime after what she did.”
The OP’s niece and paternal side of the family pushed back against the OP’s punishment.
“She called up her paternal side of the family who proceeded to blast me on social media as the bad aunt, and they said really vulgar things too.”
“So AITA for not wanting to help my niece out after this happened?”
“I can’t do much until her mother gets back to handle her, but I am starting to get annoyed by her dad’s side attacking me online.”
“I’m not sure what to exactly do since I can’t even get a hold of my sister until she’s back.”
“The paternal side of my niece’s family were all saying how it was a mistake and she’ll learn, since it was her first time.”
“I withdrew all my money from that card since it was only a couple hundred left, so I’m not worried about her doing it again.”
“But I’m kind of getting annoyed by these Instagram or Facebook posts that keep shading me and referring to me as the bad aunt, for not being easier on her for her mistake as they say.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some supported the OP for standing up for herself and her finances.
“She won’t learn that it’s wrong if you let her off the hook as easily as her dad’s side of the family wants you to.” – aPandox
“Take all of the items she bought with your card. Don’t let her keep them until you’ve been paid for them.”
“And drop your niece off with her paternal family if they care so much…” – teresajs
Others suggested sending the niece to the other family members if it was “just a mistake.”
“NTA. She stole from you. Send her to the paternal side and let her steal from them if they don’t have a problem with it.” – misspiggysmom
“Say, ‘If that’s how you feel about it, pay me back and let her steal from you instead.'” – CJSinTx
“I was thinking this. If that side of the family is so certain they can do it better, well, here’s Niece! Watch your credit cards, later days.”
“What do they think the appropriate reaction is when a 16-year-old steals money? To just pat them on the head and say it’s okay? No. This is serious and unacceptable.” – TaiDollWave
A few also suggested taking the items away until the OP was reimbursed for them.
“If it’s such a simple mistake and no big deal, and she should be forgiven, why have they not offered to pay OP for the items to make up for it? It’s a simple mistake until it involves their money?” – Mander_Em
“Also, her excuse is complete bulls**t! Seriously surprised she didn’t use the old, ‘all my friends are doing it too.’ She should know better at 16 and it sounds like it’s time to hold her responsible.”
“Get receipts for every penny spent and give a copy to her and a copy to her mom. If mom can go on vacation, she can afford to pay her back. NTA” – JuryNo7670
“If it’s not repaid, you can sell some of it online to get some of the money back. Since it’s on your card, it’s technically yours.”
“I would also go to social media and escalate it, saying that if this goes further that you have every legal right to press charges for theft and the fact that you don’t is out of kindness for family. However, if that family continues to mistreat and be unkind to you, then you would be willing to treat them the same and be even harsher.” – Gralb_the_muffin
It’s hard to say if the niece made a mistake or if she was really that worried about fitting in with her friends. But what the subReddit easily could agree on was the wrongness of spending someone else’s money and how much the OP deserved a reimbursement.