i think i've just lost three friends tonight.... read with caution...

There is always a certain amount of pressure by ones peers not to inform or ‘rat’ on another.

Now if we were looking at a totalitarian society, or if you were interested in only personal gain there would be truth in this but look at informants and look at what that information can gain.

Informants save lives, they are used extensively by prisons and police, without them criminals would remain unconvicted and the public would be placed at risk.Informants reveal truths about the powerful who would keep that knowledge from us knowledge that we have a right of access to.Informants have shown the cynical way that big tobacco has manipulated research projects. Informants provided the information that shortened WWII.

Being an informant is far from cowardly, it involves personal risk where the implications are well known - taking a risk when you know the full extent takes a special kind of courage.

You have told them to pack it in, you have told them why they should pack it in. Your appeals to their sense of decency have sadly not been taken up, can you simply walk away ?

One day someone will rip you off - happens to most of us, car radio stolen, wallet dissappears, whatever, I’m sure you would hope that someone was looking out for you when your stuff turned up.

The trust we have between us is all that we really do have and without it we become unglued as a society.

Up to now you’ve behaved admirably, wait and see if they wish to keep this up, let them have the rope, maybe they will not hang themselves.

If they do keep going then all they are doing is distancing themselves from you, they have done the damage, in the end you will have no choice but to turn them in but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Have to chime in with my two cents’ worth - you say they are good people, but my definition of good does not include stealing. You sound like you’re hesitant to throw the baby out with the bathwater with these people; maybe dropping them a couple of notches from “friends” to “acquaintances” would work for you.
As for the OP, I don’t believe it’s wrong to try to stop them; it would be wrong to NOT try to stop them.

::plunk:: that was me jumping on the bandwagon.

You need to keep your conscience clean. If knowing about a crime and not doing anything about it bothers you, then you need to do something about that. If it only bothers you because you think it SHOULD bother you, then maybe you shouldn’t be so quick. Personally, I’d send an anoymous email to whomever the card belongs to and tell them to freeze their account pronto, but that’s just me.

Janis Joplin said “Don’t compromise yourself – it’s all you’ve got.” I think that applies here.

What she said.

Wow, this is super advice which I wholeheartedly endorse. I’m not saying dump the friends… but don’t let inertia become the rule of the day if/when you decide they’re not for you anymore. My senior year in college I realized that my crowd of friends were more small-minded than I wanted to be at that stage of my life. But we’d been friends for years, so I didn’t feel like I could go out and pursue some of the other acquaintances I had out there. Ten years later, I’m not in touch with any of those “friends.” I am in touch with some of my other classmates, the ones I always eschewed in favor of my cliquey friends, and I regret that we didn’t do more things together back when we were on the same campus and could have laid a good foundation. They should have been my friends, anmd I shouldn’t have wasted so much of my energy, affection or good will on people who didn’t appreciate it or me.

Aside from the morality of this argument, have you considered your possible role in a legal sense. Would you be considered an accessory in the eyes of the criminal justice system? Just something to think about.

Personally, I’d rat the fink out, anonymously if I had to, so that he’s caught with the goods. Then, I would sleep easier at night.

These guys have proven themselves to be thieves—will they steal from you if they have the chance? Will they steal from someone else and ask you to cover for them? Guilt by association is still guilt.

These people are human pieces of shit and are not worthy of your friendship. Give them one more chance to turn the cards in or to the rightful owner. If they don’t, then fuck’em and turn them in to the proper authorities. I sure as hell would, be damned if they have been “freinds” for 5 years or not. What would you want done if the shoe was on the other foot? Wondering what you should/should not do is not helping the poor young womans who’s card was misplaced right now. Do the right thing.

*gawd, I sound like Dr. Laura! *

Sounds like a couple of “friends” I had in high school. We were pretty good friends our freshman and sophomore years. Our junior year they started getting in to other people’s lockers and stealing stuff. The really bad thing is this… the people they were stealing from were friends of theirs. They would watch as that person opened their locker and they would get their combination and would come back during class and steal their shit. It was awful. One girl had her purse stolen twice within one month… guess who did it.

I didn’t know what to do. I could’ve told the principal but because I hung out with them he probably would’ve thought I was doing it too and was just trying to save my own ass. I could’ve told the people they stole from but my “friends” probably would have just denied it. I ended up not hanging out with them anymore. I knew that if I did, I was going to get in trouble right along with them. And I’m glad I dropped them too. One of the girls went into K-Mart and stole a bunch of shit and got busted! I’m damn glad I wasn’t with her then.

I would just drop 'em and forget about 'em. If they ever ask why you don’t hang out with them, tell them the truth. You don’t hang out with thieves. And don’t feel guilty about it if that’s what you decide to do.

The very fact that you’ve posted this question shows that you’re the kind of person with morals. You’re torn, because you feel a loyalty to your supposed friends. As said in almost every post here, you don’t NEED friends like this. You can make friends in college who have a stronger sense of morals, and still party your brains out, etc.

It means you are the kind of person that just about everyone on this board would be honored to know, and trust. Do what you can to get that card cancelled, if you don’t want to put yourself in a position of danger. Nobody thinks you should martyr yourself for a cause here, I’m sure. If you think you’d be in danger, then anonymously do what you can to have that card wiped.

And, good luck. You’re obviously on the right path.


I just skimmed this thread, so I’m not sure if someone else has already suggested this, but . . .

If there’s a way to have the account deactivated, have you thought about going to “the authorities” (i.e., the people with the power to deactivate it) and just telling them that you know Joe Blow’s card is being debited by someone other than Joe Blow; that you’ve asked the user to stop but can’t persuade him or her to do so; and that you suggest the card just be deactivated? I don’t think you have to rat out your so-called “friends” in order to alert people that someone is misusing this kid’s lost card. The school will probably ask who has the card, but you can honestly say that you don’t feel comfortable telling them because it’s someone that you thought was a friend (until now).

Once that was done, I guess I’d put some distance between me and these people. They have shown themselves to be not just unthinking thieves, but thieves who persist in their theft, knowing full-well that it’s wrong, just because they think they can’t be caught. Who needs friends like that?

I’ve been in this situation and I gave the ‘friends’ too many chances. Sleeping well with your conscience is far more important than appeasing those with selfish, flexible morals. Their willingness to steal (and it IS stealing and they must know it) is a sad indictment on their character.

Another thing to consider though - you’ve already spoken to them and you say they’ve assumed it means you’ll turn them in which from my experience means they won’t trust you anyway. This could mean they’re simply warier around you or it could mean that as soon as the card is switched off/usless they’ll blame you for it anyway even if it was nothing to do with you. The sort of people who would do this are often petulant when challenged and quick to lay blame on others.

I have to add my voice to the throng and question whether being with such a loosely-moralled group is realy the best thing for you.

As for the title “just lost three friends”… if they alienate you for speaking your mind and following what you believe then they were never real friends to start with.

1980: Empire Strikes Back comes out, "O Canada" was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada, US boycotts Moscow Olympics, former actor Ronald Reagan becomes the 40th US president, Pac-Man comes out, Lindy Chamberlain claims a dingo took her baby, John Lennon murdered.

The bandwagon seems to be under full steam, but I’ll jump on it anyway. You’re in the right, and standing up to your “friends” about it, and my already considerable respect for you (out-of-context quotes notwithstanding) just increased another notch. Stick to your guns; make them stop if you can find a way. If it came to it, I’d turn them in–but that’s your call, not mine.


“Never fail to listen to the dictates of your conscience. The loneliness you’ll experience will be temporary; the rewards you’ll experience will be with you for the rest of your life.”

South African civil rights activist and current managing director of the World Bank Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, in her keynote address for (Duke) University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration at the Chapel Sunday.

Cranky, thanks for the support.

First off, and I really do mean this- these are the WRONG people to have as friends. They are thieves, plain and simple. I believe you should absolutely stop someone from stealing if you know it is going on. What if they were entering dorm rooms and stealing money? Stealing a debit card is just as bad to me.


I would never stop friends doing illegal things… but when I think they are doing something wrong I tell them and will try to stop them.

Doing drugs = illegal
Using the debit thingy = wrong
in my humble opinion…

Not the kind of friends I d be sorry to lose…

dodgy :slight_smile:

They aren’t friends, and what is to stop them from stealing from you, if they had the opportunity.

Get away from them! Turn them in. I had a friend who stole and shoplifted and I got blamed and got a rep as a thief because I hung around her. Forget it-it wasn’t fucking worth it.

Turn them in and drop them. And don’t feel bad if they get in trouble. I mean, it’s not YOUR fault. It is THEIR fault, and they KNOW they could get in trouble and what they are doing is wrong. THEY are doing it anyways. So THEY will get themselves into trouble.