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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » So I was just the victim of identity theft.

   
Author Topic: So I was just the victim of identity theft.
rollainm
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Yay.

I was literally watching my account drain while on the phone with the bank. Thank goodness they were able to close the account and credit everything back. But yeah. I'm a little creeped out. It really can happen to anyone at any time.

Oh, and rivka, this changes nothing! [Razz]

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scifibum
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OK, not to be patronizing or anything, but (assuming you live in the US), do everything this site says:

http://www.idtheft.gov/

It's important to file the law enforcement reports and establish fraud alerts with the credit reporting agencies as soon as you can. Keep an eye out for new fraudulent accounts/debts you don't know about yet and make sure those are reported to law enforcement as well in a way you can document. The proof that you reported the crimes to law enforcement will be your best tool to clear your name with minimal hassle.

I had this happen a couple of years ago and I learned that, by trusting city police and the US Postal Inspectors to document everything I told them in a way I could rely on later, I set myself up for about 5x the effort and time investment to get everything cleared up.

Good luck and I'm sorry.

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rollainm
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No offense taken. Thanks for the gesture. I'm taking care of everything. I am actually worried about just what information the thief might have besides my debit card number, so I'm taking every step I can to protect myself in case there are more attempts to come in the near future.
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Kwea
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Good luck, I am glad you were more aware of it than I was when it happened to me. [Frown]
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AvidReader
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It's good to be cautious, but I would point out that there's a vast gulf between someone getting your card number and someone pretending to be you. Debit cards can be skimmed anytime you use them and used to make purchases or, more often, sold in bulk on the internet - and then used. It's usually got pretty predictable spending patterns, and our fraud monitoring company can usually shut it down pretty quick. We get you another card, no harm, no foul.

ID theft would mean the person was pretending to be you. Using entire accounts, opening credit in your name, etc. That one's much trickier to sort out what you opened versus what was opened without your knowledge. It's easy to guess you didn't spend $1,000 at an electronics store in Belgium when your other purchases are normal around town stuff. It's harder to tell you didn't open a new credit card across town.

I hope it's just a compromised debit card. It's still theft, and it probably still feels bad, but at least it's routine, fixable theft.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
Oh, and rivka, this changes nothing! [Razz]

Given that I've had my bank card spoofed without ever having had a FB account, I don't see that it should.

Also, man, that sucks. Good luck!

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
It's good to be cautious, but I would point out that there's a vast gulf between someone getting your card number and someone pretending to be you.

Absolutely agreed.
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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
It's good to be cautious, but I would point out that there's a vast gulf between someone getting your card number and someone pretending to be you.

Absolutely agreed.
To be sure. It could have been much worse, and I'm thankful it wasn't.
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rivka
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That too. But I think AR's point (and certainly mine) is that it may not be necessary to file ID theft reports. Setting the alerts with the credit companies may or may not be beneficial, depending on other factors.
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rollainm
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I understand. I took certain measures based on details that I won't go over here. I will say that I have reason to believe that I don't need to worry too much about further attempts from the same source.
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rivka
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Excellent!
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Darth_Mauve
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Just to be sure, how do we know that you are really you and not the identity thief?
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