Being a victim of identity theft has become an unfortunate rite of passage for many people in this crazy digital age, and I just earned my merit badge.
On Friday, I bought a couple of burgers and a Coke at Rally’s. I used my debit card.
When I got home and sat down to record the amount in Quicken, I realized I’d left the receipt at work. So I hopped online to check my bank balance.
There was the charge for the burger.
But there was another charge made that afternoon. A $1 pre-authorization by Yahoo Wallet.
So I called Yahoo Wallet, and was told that the charge was made because I’d just signed up for their services, which include easy, one-stop checkout for thousands of online merchants.
Only I hadn’t done that.
She looked up the transaction by my debit card number and told me that the account had been registered with my name, my address and my debit card number, including the three-digit security code on the back of the card.
Only I hadn’t done that.
And of course they couldn’t tell me who (as in an email address) set up the account, because that’s confidential information, even though the jackass who set up the account was using MY confidential information.
She gave me an email address to send a complaint to.
So now I’m waiting several business days to hear a response from that.
So then I called my bank, and had them kill my debit card. The person who set up this account hadn’t purchased anything yet, but they were definitely getting ready to go on a shopping spree. Such thieves typically use other people’s credit cards to buy things like digital downloads that don’t require anything being shipped. That’s where they get you.
And then I had to go down to the bank in person so that they could give me temporary online access so that I’ll be able to monitor my account from home.
I’ll get the replacement debit card in 7-10 business days.
Then I visited the Federal Trade Commission’s website and followed the steps.
I had to freeze my credit.
But I was able to view my credit report for free from the big three credit agencies, and there was no suspicious activity.
You should really do this, by the way.:
You’re able to request your full credit report once every year from each of the big three.
Please, please do this. It will cost you nothing, and it could save you everything.
And then I filled out a huge report on the FTC’s website, and I expect to be contacted by someone from the FTC next week.
So I’ve got lots of paperwork and frustrations to look forward to over the next few weeks, but at least they didn’t get anything.
I’d like to give a special thank-you to the Rallyburgers that indirectly rescued me from being cleaned out.