in ,

Woman Considers Having Her Cousin Arrested After The Cousin Stole Her Identity To ‘Teach Her A Lesson’

Tirachard Kumtanom / EyeEm via Getty Images

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.  And boy, was this subtle form of revenge that a woman enacted on her cousin cold.  Cold as ice.

u/HeWasBearFood was so shaken by her cousin’s actions that she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to get some advice from strangers.

“WIBTA [Would I Be The A**hole] for having my cousin arrested?”

Our original poster, or OP, said that the drama started when she needed to be in close proximity with a family member she disliked:

“Backstory: A few months ago (pre-[pandemic]) my cousin, who I am close to, had a big co-ed baby shower thrown for her. I was in attendance, along with my husband. Another cousin was visiting her parents, my aunt and uncle, and decided to attend the baby shower as well.”

“I’m not close to this cousin at all. We didn’t grow up together, are 10 years apart in age, and our personalities are completely different. She’s also just not a nice person to be around. Very negative attitude. We are obligatory Facebook friends though, mostly due to my aunt and mother asking us both to add each other.”

One day, fraudulent charges showed up on her account:

“Skip ahead to present day: A few days ago I got a call from a bank I have a credit card through, inquiring about my balance not being paid, as I have always paid my outstanding bills on time. I told the bank employee I had not used my card, so that charge was fraud.”

“The card account was immediately closed, and they began the process of looking further into it. Today they called me back with an update. The charge was for a donation to a charity that I knew of but have never contributed to myself.”

After a brief rant on Facebook, she got a suspicious comment about the charges:

“Still confused about why my card was used, I posted a short rant on FB. I got a few replies telling me this had never happened to them, and hoping I got it all resolved soon.”

“Then my cousin, the one who was rude at the baby shower, commented something to the effect of ‘Well, maybe someone had a good reason for making the donation in your name. Maybe someone wanted to teach you a lesson.'”

She decided to follow up on the comment:

“The comment was weird, so I PM’ed her to ask what she meant. At first she wouldn’t tell me what she meant, but eventually I got her to tell me everything.”

“She. Stole. My. Credit. Card. Info. At. The. Baby. Shower.”

The cousin’s reason was also insidious:

“Her reason? Because about a year ago I began going to church. I didn’t grow up in a religious family, but my parents were never particularly opposed to it. I went with a friend one day and found that I enjoyed the church she attends, so I kept going with her.”

“I’m not vocal about my newfound beliefs. I don’t throw it in people’s faces or demand they believe the same. It’s just something that I like for my own life. It makes me feel better and more relaxed. Apparently my cousin has a problem with me deciding to attend and join a church of any kind.”

So now OP is wondering how best to take action:

“And because of that she decided it was a good idea to sneak around and take photos of my credit card. And then use the info to make a $1000 donation to this charity she knew I would never donate to because they’re very outspoken about opposing what I believe, both religiously and morally (nothing to do with religion).”

“My husband says I should press charges and have her arrested. My mom says that’s going too far, even though my cousin was in the wrong.”

“So WIBTA for pressing charges on my cousin?”

Redditors decided where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • YWBTA: You Would Be The A**hole
  • YWNBTA: You Would Not Be The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Reddit was almost unanimously on OP’s side.

“NTA. she committed a crime for to teach YOU a lesson?? SIS- i.”

“TEACH HER A LESSON OP”~improblythea**hole

“NTA, I do follow Jesus, and also support Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ+ charities. That’s based off my research and beliefs and you base your decisions off whatever research you’ve done and beliefs you have and your cousin has her own opinions too.”

“That’s how life works and it only works when you don’t do malicious crap like steal credit cards. Your cousin needs to know how serious this is. It’s not funny”~Netteka

“NTA – that’s not a spiteful prank because she doesn’t agree with your religion. That is seriously illegal and she needs to know that. I would definitely turn her in.”

“That could have messed up your credit and your life. If there is any chance that she copied any other cards or information you should probably cancel them all and get new ones for yourself.”~Kellymargaret

“I came here to say this. ‘Donating in someone’s name’ means I pay and someone else gets the credit.”

“If your cousin had done it properly, she would have paid the charity herself and used your name. Then you would have found out when the charity sent you a thank-you or asked you for more money. It may have caused you some embarrassment or consternation at the most.”

“But credit card fraud? That’s not ‘teaching you a lesson;’ that’s a crime.”~jackidaylene

After all, this was a crime committed with malicious intent to hurt OP.

“Whoa hold up. SHE STOLE $1000!? That is a massive amount. I was thinking like $20, but that much could have seriously overdrawn your card or cost you a rent payment. NTA. She needs to learn a lesson the hard way.”~blackday44

“I’m anti-organized religion. That has nothing to do with morality and criminal behavior. Your cousin committed a criminal and immoral act – she stole from you to enact revenge for not sharing her beliefs. She needs to face the consequences.” 

“Ask your mom if a stranger had stolen your credit card and made fraudulent charges, would she still say it was too harsh to pursue legal charges and would she still expect you to pay their bill? Sharing genetic material should make no difference in the answer.”~JaydeRaven

“You’re going to need to file a police report to get anywhere near pressing charges/arresting your cousin… you don’t get to go into a police station and say ‘I wanna press charges against this person!’ The system (at least in the US) doesn’t work like that. The state ultimately is the one who decides to ‘press charges.'”

“So, NTA, but realize this is going to be quite a lot of legwork and money on your end to bring this to a criminal court. Not a lawyer, so if there are any reading this, correct me if I’m wrong!”~GlitteringHair7

“NTA. First of all, you need to alert your cc company with what you found. Have them go after your cousin.”

“Second. Look. You can’t commit crimes against people with whom you disagree. You just can’t. Your church might believe in making all abortions illegal, that gay people are descendants of Satan and that all kittens must be drowned, especially the fluffy ones. And I in turn would not want to be around you. But none of your beliefs would entitle me to steal from you.”

“Report her. Because that will teach her a lesson.”~Spectrum2081

All agree that the only way OP’s cousin will learn that what she did was morally wrong is to learn from it – the hard way.

“NTA, and personally I would press charges. But if you do press charges, think about all the family drama you’ll go through. Some of your relationships will probably be severed, possibly forever, even though you are absolutely the victim.”

“Even people that know you’re the victim may want you to try to make amends or not press charges to ‘ease tensions’ If you feel you can handle the fall out then press charges. If you feel like you don’t want to go through that, then don’t press charges. Choose what’s right for you.”~cdiddy19

“NTA. Maybe someone needs to learn their lesson? And think of what she might do next to you or someone else? This is the problem when people don’t discipline their children for things they do as children.”

“These children grow up think there will never be consequences for their actions. She could do serious damage the next time. And let’s be honest, she’s not going to jail. She’ll probably get a slap on the wrist. Seems appropriate.”~kynikos19

“This is so bizarre it’s like it came from one of those AI story generators. She stole your credit card to teach you a lesson by making a donation in your name to a charity you ‘hate’ because you go to church now.”

“Why would that make her so mad in the first place? And why does she think OP needs punishment? How can she justify breaking the law because she doesn’t like a church? NTA she deserves to face the consequences of her crime. And I would also make sure everyone in the family knows about her light fingers.”~MargotFenring

“NTA. She committed the crime of fraud, knowingly and wittingly, counting on FAAAAMMMILLY to protect her from the consequences of her actions.”

“It’s just desserts/funny to make a donation to a charity in someone’s name if they are forcing their beliefs on others – ***as long as you are using YOUR own money***. When you use *their* money, it is a crime.”

“It doesn’t sound like you were forcing your beliefs on anyone else, but, even if you were, it is still a crime to commit fraud.”~JaydeRaven

OP clarified that the “charity” in question was more malicious than helpful.

“I’d rather not disclose the specific organization. It’s a local one that has a reputation in the area for paying people to disrupt meetings, like church services, funerals for first responders, weddings between public figures in the area, and things of that nature.”

“Think Westboro Baptist but instead of protesting outside they often sneak in to ruin the actual event. They call themselves a charity because they do donate money to people in need, if those people fall into certain categories and are willing to sign a contract for eventual ‘repayment’.”

“Basically they prey on those in desperate need of help. That’s why I’m morally opposed, as well as religiously. I believe help should be given without expectations.”

And the bank will most likely move forward with pressing charges.  But the fallout between OP and her cousin is still far from over.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.