Yup, you read that right. Not only did I end up with the wrong credit card, I also lost mine in the process. And it happened very innocently, too. In fact, this very thing I failed to do I'm sure happens to a lot of you, and you don't even realize it.

At the end of the day nothing fraudulent happened, which is a relief. But still, you never know in today's world, and we have to be very careful with all our sensitive items such as credit cards.

Although this story might not have a dramatic ending, it is an important reminder for all of us to pay attention when we go out. This honest mistake can happen to you, and trust me, nobody wants to discover their cards are missing and replaced by a total strangers.

using a smartphone
(Getty Stock)

When I realized the card was gone

It was a Wednesday evening when I got a call from our local garage telling me that our car was ready (We had brought one of our vehicles in on Monday of that week to get some work done on it).


Since the garage was closing soon, I decided to pay over the phone and we would head on over later that evening to pick it up.

Young woman checking bills, taxes, bank account balance and calculating credit card expenses at home

So I went to get my credit card out of the wallet, and all looked good with one exception. The card had somebody else's name on it.


So I told the garage I'd have to call them back since at this point, I'm clearly puzzled by this turn of events. It was the exact same card as mine, but somehow belonged to a total stranger.

Person's hand taking out a credit card from a wallet

So naturally, I start going through my wallet, trying to find the same card with my name on it. After awhile of looking, it became clear that mine was lost.


I thought back to the last time I used this particular card. Eventually it hit me. I last used it when dining out with my family over the past weekend.

Restaurant dinner place setting
Brian Jackson

So I called the restaurant and explained the situation, and they went looking to see if they had my card. They also checked to see if this other person called the restaurant looking for theirs. In both cases, no luck.

New Jersey Re-Opens Retail Stores And Outdoor Dining In Easing Of COVID-19 Rules
Getty Images

Then I remembered how busy the restaurant was that evening, and how little staff they had. This particular place now closes a few days a week because of the staff shortage, and that particular evening, our waitress seemed to be one of the only people working the tables.

Getty Images

Since the card I had looked exactly the same as mine, I realized that she must've returned the wrong card to me by mistake. As noted earlier, it was a busy evening and she seemed to be serving most of the tables in the outdoor area by herself.

Credit card (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

I should've double checked here

This is where I made my error. I didn't check the card when I got it back after paying. Instead of verifying the card was mine, I just assumed it was since it looked the same. And since being anywhere we go with the kids is a production within itself, we usually just try to wrap up quickly and move along.


The restaurant ended up apologizing and at the end of the day all was good. There were no fraud charges, and a new card would be on the way soon.

sorry note (ThinkStock)

Lesson Learned

So the moral of the story is this. Always double check to make sure you get the correct card back when handing it to someone. In my case, no harm came from this innocent mistake. I was lucky, someone could've gone on a major shopping spree with my credit.

Different credit cards on table, closeup

Bottom Line

This is something we all do at times when going out and probably don't think about. Even if the card looks the same, double check to make sure it's yours before putting it away.

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