I’ve heard a lot of chump stories. A conservative estimate would be hundreds of thousands. But Sheila’s stands out. I met Sheila in Australia last May — and she came up to me and said, “Well, I had to come meet you because you answered my letter.”
Uh. Sheila lives in the United States. Australia is at least 8,000 miles away. It’s upside down and tomorrow over there. Her foot was in a cast. A woman I had never met limped 8,000 miles to meet me? What on earth?
“You probably don’t remember, but several years ago you replied to me at 3 in the morning. I thought my husband was cheating on me and you suggested I could run a credit report.”
Sounds like something I might do. This tactic has been discussed at CN. I did it on my cheating ex and it revealed a whole host of horrors.*
“Well, I did it and found $175,000 in hidden accounts. So I figured I could spend some to fly over and say ‘thanks.'”
Knock. me. over. with. a. stick. What a story! What a woman!
It gets crazier.
So a several months months ago, I pitched a story to The Girlfriend (an online women’s magazine by AARP, for girlfriends of any age) on financial abuse and thought of Sheila.
Can you believe this mighty member of Chump Nation agreed to put her story in public to help other chumps?
I didn’t know until I interviewed Sheila that she ALSO FOUND $275,000 WORTH OF GOLD COINS IN THE ATTIC.
Holy SHIT. She sent me pictures!
But the story I wrote wasn’t just your typical I Married A Monster clickbait — there’s some badass financial and legal advice on how to combat financial abuse, and where to go if it happens to you.
If you’re going through this shit, they are also bloggers and have a wealth of resources on their sites. It’s very hard to stay in control when you discover bad stuff, but proper planning and professional help can put you in the driver’s seat.
Sheila said: “People NEED to be aware this type of theft is very real and very sneaky.”
Postscript — last I heard Sheila just finished hiking Machu Picchu. (Her ex still sucks.)
Your Friday Challenge:
Tell me how you followed the money trail and what you discovered. Got tips? Resources? Share. Let’s stop financial abuse of chumps.
*Per credit reports. Please don’t do anything illegal. Talk to your lawyer — who can demand a credit report as part of financial discovery in a divorce.