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Mike McIntyre | On Sports
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I got taken for a ride
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I got taken for a ride

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I don’t know about that. A few very different emotions came to mind the other day when I discovered there is someone out there trying to be me.

And boy, did they have a good time at my expense!

That’s right, folks. I’ve (once again) become a victim of fraud. This time to the tune of 58 Uber rides racked up on an American Express I own, for a total just north of $1,600.

Ouch.

Thing is, the credit card itself remains safely in my wallet. It was never lost, nor stolen. But somehow, some way — likely due to a skimmed/duplicated card which would include getting access to my PIN — someone was able to go on a spending spree that last nearly three weeks.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have transaction alerts set up on this particular card, which I use solely for work-related travel. And since I hadn’t done a Jets trip since last month, I had no real reason to go online and glance at my statement.

Not until the other day, when I was going to file some expenses from that trek to Buffalo and Toronto. And discovered a looooooong list of purchases that had continued to be made without my knowledge or consent.

Oof.

Fortunately, the customer service folks were extremely helpful, immediately cancelling my current card, issuing me a new one and beginning the fraud investigation which will include getting all charges reversed in the next few days.

Thank goodness for fraud insurance.

Just to be safe, I will be turning on email notifications going forward. I actually have those set up on my personal debit card, which is how I came to quickly realize that piece of plastic had been skimmed last January.

As soon as I saw three purchases pop up at a gas station, convenience store and drug store within a few minutes of each other, I was able to put a stop to it before it went any farther.

Just like this time, the card remained in my possession.

A few police and justice-type friends tell me this sort of thing is happening more and more, with all kinds of sophisticated means to steal your personal information.

How flattering, eh? Hardly.

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre, Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre

 

Woe, Canada

This has not been a good road trip for the Winnipeg Jets.

And I’m not talking about the three straight losses in Florida, Tampa Bay and New York to the tune of 16-5.

No, I’m referring to the singing of the anthems, particularly O Canada the last two games against the Lightning and Rangers.

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First up was the fellow who completely forgot the words mid-song and cobbled together this bit of verbal diarrhea: “The true north stand and strong.”

Say what?

Then came the performance on Broadway the other night, which you could have timed with a calendar instead of a stopwatch.

I’ve often seen arguments that sporting events ought to scrap anthems entirely, that they serve no real purpose. I generally enjoy them — Hoosli, for example, at Canada Life Centre is stellar stuff, as is the incomparable Jim Cornelison in Chicago (who gives me chills every time I hear him).

But a few more ones like we’ve witnessed lately and I think I’ll be switching to team “Just drop the damn puck and get on with it!”

The Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus sang the Ukraine and Canadian national anthems before a Winnipeg Jets game in March. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press file)

 

Gonna have a ball

Anyone out there planning to be down in the Twin Cities during the first weekend of August?

I’ll be heading down, along with my 20-year-old son, my brother and my father. We’ve planned a fun little family getaway built around our beloved Toronto Blue Jays playing four games at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins.

No doubt there will be plenty of Manitobans in the park, the first time in three seasons that will be the case owing to the global pandemic. I already have a few friends I know will be there at the same time.

We’re going to squeeze in a couple rounds of golf in addition to at least two of the baseball games, which we snagged our tickets to earlier this week. And I, for one, can’t wait.

Just the thought of green grass right now is enough to get my heart racing.

It struck me the other day how much I tend to build vacations around “events,” whether that’s a game, a show or a concert. I guess it’s because I’ve never been a “go somewhere and sit on a beach” kind of person.

No, I want action and adventure.

For example, my wife and I are heading down to Las Vegas for a week in late May to see our favourite comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco, perform live for the very first time. We were supposed to go a couple years ago but his show was ultimately cancelled owing to COVID-19.

We also snagged tickets to opening night of a new Cirque du Soleil show called Mad Apple.

My wife, our son and our 16-year-old daughter are then heading down to Minneapolis in September, where we have tickets to see my all-time favourite band, The Killers, perform at Xcel Energy Center. I’ve been a fan forever — I’ve seen them play before in their hometown of Las Vegas, and also in Calgary — and now both my kids share my love for them as well. Should be a fun experience for all.

How about you? What’s been your most memorable out-of-town event you’ve taken in?

 

 


 

 

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Have a great week.

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