Friday, October 17, 2008

Nothing like a little identity theft

Today I became one of the millions of people every year that is an identity theft victim. I was just checking my balance online on my checking account and noticed a charge from Wednesday of $21.99 from "Big Loud Head" in Florida. I googled the company and it turns out they sell headphones, not porn (lol). So someone got my Visa debit card number and then bought some stuff. Great. I called the bank first to have my card canceled. The woman on the phone was not very helpful for some reason, usually they have excellent customer service at my credit union, and I also had to go to the bank to fill out some additional paperwork. They informed me at the bank that I would need to file a police report and let them know the number of the police report before they can credit me back the money that was stolen. There are a lot of hoops to jump through here but I was more than happy to do all of this to ensure my information would continue to be safe. They informed me at the bank that this happens all the time and there is really no way to tell how someone got my number. I am glad I am meticulous with my account! Also, it is a common practice for identity thieves to charge a small amount, then wait a week or 2, and charge a much greater amount in the hopes that you won't notice the initial small charge. Just a reminder to be wary and pay attention to your accounts, even for small purchases.

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