Have You Been the Victim of Identity Theft?

A few years ago, I stopped at a local ATM to get some cash before heading to work.  To my surprise, my request was denied and my account balance was in the red.  I knew something was wrong immediately because my paycheck had just been deposited the day before…..my heart sank.
I logged on to my online banking and saw activity on my debit card.  Apparently, the night before, I filled up my car at 5 different gas stations, had dinner at McDonald’s and Popeyes, and then swung by Walmart for a shopping spree.  Oh wait….that wasn’t me.
Fortunately, my bank was great and helped me to sort through the problem and quickly restored my balance.  Now that I have this blog, I find myself using Adobe to create PDF files of contracts and legal documents, some of which contain my social security number.  I will admit to being quite nervous about sharing my personal information because of past experiences, but I am happy to learn that Adobe has security measures in place such as signature validation and rights management.
Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?  What measures do you take to ensure your future safety?

Comments

  1. Yes. A couple of years ago, I got a credit card in the mail that I never asked for. When I called, the credit card company had my name, SSN, DOB, but the wrong address. Further research revealed that someone got my personal info (including my address), filled out an online credit card application, was approved (despite getting my mother’s maiden name wrong), paid for rush shipment of the card, then tried to change the address on it. The card went out to *MY* address and *THEN* the card company changed the address on file. This was the only was I was able to prevent serious damage to my credit rating. The thieves even tried getting a $5,000 cash advance on the card before it was activated.

    I never did catch the ID thieves or find out how they got my info (combination credit card company stonewalling and police department that didn’t seem to care about perusing the case). In the end, we froze our credit. This is different than a fraud alert in the nobody can open ANY new credit lines on my credit unless I first “thaw” it for a set period of time. The thieves can have all of my info but nobody can touch my credit unless I approve it. Credit agencies don’t want people doing this because they like being able to sell access to your information and credit card companies like having people sign up for new credit cards on the spot (like those checkout lane “get 5% off if you sign up today” cards).

  2. Ugh, that is horrible. The police weren’t interested in pursuing our case, either.

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