Saturday, November 23, 2013

who am I?

I had a pretty good handle on this. We won't go into details, but I was me, for most of my life. So I thought.

Now it turns out someone or things have been dipping into a me that includes credit card numbers and such. Kudos to the credit card company that caught this, early. But now I have to look into all sorts of stuff, of a monetary nature. The bank started an official police inquiry, but I suppose, after googling some info, I should also contact my local constable.

I always thought if the universe got all up in my face, confronted me with major questions, those questions would regard being and nothingness, my place and purpose on this earth, something metaphorical, rather than financial.

I'll let you know how this works out. No, I won't bore you daily. But I will provide some info to keep in your back pocket, should this ever happen to you. Steps to take, and so forth. Because, really. These guys, these guys -- they went trolling through rich waters of unprotected identities and the best they could find was this little fish?

And just to end with a mild rant -- when they caution not to give out your social security number (something I never do, out of habit) -- but please, are we fucking stupid? Everyone has access to our ssn -- it's on our school records, rental agreements, mortgages, tax forms, bank accounts, utilities -- might as well be on a billboard; anyone can grab it; doesn't take a Snowden or that pale guy, because it's everywhere.

29 comments:

  1. I've had situations where one of my credit cards was used, but all I needed to do was get a different card. What you have sounds different?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aw, crap. I'm currently on my second debit card, second card from PayPal, and third business credit card because somebody got a hold of those numbers at some point and started using them.

    But what's worse, both my 11 year old and I have a free year of credit reporting and protection because a Kaiser doctor (who has since been fired) got into our personal information. So yeah, I'm so sorry, and wishing you the best as this resolves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Take it from someone who had their identity stolen awhile back... from what the police told me, they just take the report of whatever was taken and fax it to whoever needs to be involved... With my case my identity was used across state lines... They told me, nothing can be done... U know those cameras in the banks? well in my case, they can't use the footage since it would be an 'invasion of privacy' to whoever was standing either in front of or behind the azzhat who compromised my identity.. and that's why banks have insurance... There is more to my story and if u want to read more, I can tell u thru email... Bottom line, w/credit cards, you won't pay a dime since its the bank's money... also, its unnecessary to give your ss to the doctor's office (on their form) they don't need it... and I can tell u how mine was compromised. it wasn't rocket science.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One thing I did learn from the police was to NEVER use your debit card as 'credit'... they said that was the stupidest thing people do.. Always use your credit card cuz you are dealing w/ the bank's money, not yours.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so sorry this has happened to you, and quite surprised, because you're such a private person - you don't have a cell phone, you would never open malicious spam, and you're very savvy about financial matters.

    Do please keep us informed about how this goes, and good luck with getting your ID back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks; nice to know I'm not alone. And I really don't think it matters how careful you are, the breach can happen anywhere, right? From a hospital to Amazon.

    KBF, I will email you to make sure I'm covering all the bases.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, carp. I hope it all works out swiftly and okay.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In Canada we don't have to give our ssn to anyone except your own bank. But people still have their identities stolen through other means. Good luck sorting out the mess.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think it doe not matter how careful you are. There are too many occasions where you have to give out your info to supposedly trustworthy entities.

    What a yucky situation. I hope it resolves the best it can for you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Major bummer to hear that someone is messing with your identity. I know it will be a drag to work through this, but I do appreciate that you're willing to share some of the steps with us, so we're all a little wiser about what we can try to do to prevent this (although it's obviously impossible to do everything). Argh!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh no! I live in dread of this day. May all the saints protect you and may Karma deliver one swift kick where it forever prevents them from procreating. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It has peeved me for years that govt agencies say dont give out your ssn, yet you can't operate in US society unless you do so. Basically, there's nothing in place to protect the average citizen but the average citizen. And Snowden.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh yuck! Sorry to read this.

    I heard a Snap Judgment story about a guy who tracked down the criminal and ensuing activities that started when someone at the local Domino's stole his info. The police did as much as they could which wasn't much. You might be able to find the pod cast online, not to do that yourself but to garner some encouragement.

    Keeping a good "catch 'em" thought for you ~

    ReplyDelete
  14. It happened to my mother, 2 years before she died, and that was one of the trips I had to take to Florida to start to fix the mess. Go to your local sheriff's department or constable or whatever you have there, and report it. Then call the IRS - yes, the IRS - to report this, so that if someone tries to file a phony income tax return with your number. They'll give you a secret PIN number for on-line filing and tax payment and so forth. Notify banks, credit card company, mortgage company, so forth, of course. Good luck with this, and I'm sure Kalei has a lot more information for you.

    BTW, I refuse to ever give SS#s to doctors or schools, or local property tax collectors, for that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. BTW be careful with your Facebook info, too. That's why I don't list my birthday, past addresses, favorite movie or book, etc. because they can be used to apply for credit in your name or get past bank security questions.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for all the advice. And now I know who exactly is the best person to walk me out of ID-theft hell. And yes, will keep you posted, for your own future reference.

    One reason I posted this, publicly -- when such things happen, they say you should keep a paper trail. I'm just taking this one step further. I'll let you know who offers assistance, who doesn't, the hoops, the sand traps. All in one neat, tidy package.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sage, I agree. Although, you can look up almost anyone via google and find birth dates and past addresses.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Good luck to you as you work through all the stuff you have to do. And thank you for letting us know what you learn through this.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Something like this happened to me more than 25 years ago. I once applied for unemployment and when the woman looked up my SSN she balked. She said, "Uh, someone's using your Social Security Number or I need to have you arrested. Let me see your ID." I showed her, and she took down some information.

    I asked her what I should do. "Nothing," she said. "We are going to take care of this." She had a determined look on her face.

    I never heard anything else about it. This is by way of saying I think Marjie's right, and you might want to contact Social Security, too.

    Full time job.

    ReplyDelete
  20. By "Full time job," I mean, this is how you're going to be spending many hours for a while to come.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Boo, hiss. Fie on their kith and kin.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If I ever find someone who has been involved with stealing IDs etc, I'll hang 'em by their nutz, cover them in honey and leave them out in the hot Texas sun for the ants to get them as their skin fries. Not that I have an opinion.

    This is one reason I refuse to give my CDL out (except to police officers) and often refuse to give out SSN and other numbers, unless absolutely required. I use aliases for "club cards" and use artificial versions of my snail mail address for a number of things. I shred everything that has my name on it and anything with an address on it. People have called me crazy, but even STILL, we've had credit cards stolen.

    Our now former local gym kept being the focal point. We finally ONLY gave them the latest card and issued another for everything else. Guess what? It was stolen again, we were done with them, though they kept denying it. Uhm, yeah, read me your security procedures, oh right, none. Anyway.

    Make sure all the credit reporting folks know, the DMV, SSA, your banks, 401k or retirement accounts, credit cards, loans and utilities know what happened. You can put a lock on your credit, so that no one can open a new account anywhere without your special code.

    I have to laugh at some of these idiots though. When we were 12ft deep in medical debt, credit cards maxed, both unemployed, some moron tried to open an account at a high end place. The cops were called because the place was quite sure we would not be out shopping for $25k worth of stuff when we were so far in medical debt; or if we were, we should be arrested and bitch-slapped to the next state!

    I hope you get this resolved as easily as possible and that someone catches these asshats! Officers, just give me a little time with them, PLEASE??!?!?! >=-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. oh and keep time/date/number/name of person you spoke with EVERY time you talk to an authority about this. I LOVE being able to say "I spoke with Barbara on Jun 19 at 14:14hrs, her number was 800-XXX-XXXX ext 233 about reporting this, and she said she'd lock down my credit report. It hasn't been done, someone opened a new account on June 30 at Target, I don't shop at Target". ;-)

    And have a bottle of wine, you'll need it. hugz!

    ReplyDelete
  24. $25K, Trish? Good lord. And yes, I'm slogging my way through this...

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Trish: same thing happened to me... some stupid employee @ target (who was doin' her job) gave a $500 gift card and also offered a credit line to the perp that stole my identity.. yep Karin u read that right... Target is so frickin' hard up for customers that they will give a $500 gift certificate if the customer will open a Target acct... wtf? does that make sense?
    btw, while I was going thru the mess (that u know about), I get a frickin' Target cc in the mail!.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I really need to be more vigilant about my own accounts - I'm appreciating all the advise your audience is sharing

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ouch. I figure they'll get me sooner or later, and I would not handle the situation with aplomb. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete