Shortly after I moved to So Cal someone got ahold of my credit card number and went on a little shopping spree. Fortunately I had some fraud protection plan in place and we were able to avoid any charges and stop them from using the account. Not fun.
Last summer someone got ahold of my wife’s debit card number and pin and bought a few supplies at the local Home Depot. Apparently they bought the wrong items because they even exchanged them! We had to close the bank account and open a new one.
On Wednesday I got a call from a guy in a security department for an online money gram company asking if I had ever of them. When I said, “Nope” his response was, “I didn’t think so; someone has stolen your identity.” Apparently someone had my name, address, credit card number and security code and was helping themselves to some money transfers. So, in order to take care of that situation I had to do the following:
- Call the credit card company and inform them of the situation. They cancelled the card, credited the debit, and (of course) made sure we had a new account.
- I filed an identity theft report with the local police department.
- I filed a Fraud Alert with Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
- I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- I rejoiced and gave thanks in the midst of it all … even if it was only being thankful that I don’t really have any money to steal.
Today, someone got ahold of our routing information and we had to close our banking accounts, again, and start over. We were very fortunate to be able to catch all of this as it was happening. I can’t imagine not noticing something like this for a month or two and being caught unaware and unprepared. Still, I would think that people intelligent enough to do such things would have no problem getting well paying jobs.
My main concern at this point is my social security number. It seems that changing it will only be of a hassle so it looks like I am forced to keep it and will have to keep a better eye on all of my accounts. Just another reason to listen to John Wesley who said, “Give all you can.” If we give it all away then there will be nothing to steal!
Just in case you are wondering we change our passwords regularly, we shred documents with any information, we don’t give out info over the phone (at least not any more), and we use a secure internet connection whenever possible.