Identify theft! We hear about it everywhere - TV, radio, newspaper, but we never think it will happen to us. We're careful with our account numbers, our credit cards, our banking information. We're safe!
But let me be the first to say this - It does happen. We should know. It has happened to us.
We found out yesterday.
I'm religious about checking our online banking account each morning to confirm what posted the night before. Yesterday morning was no different, except for a mysterious debit for hostway.com. I called Kevin right away to make sure he didn't make the purchase. Nope.
So I immediately called the bank. I had to go in to fill out a form to recoup the money, but while I was there the banker noted four new charges that hadn't yet posted. We didn't make those purchases. In fact, they were made online with overseas companies.
So I called one of the companies. They had my credit card number, my name, but a different address. This address is unlisted. So, to be safe, we had to close all our accounts to make sure no more activity would take place. Right before a vacation in which we planned to use the bank card for expenses...
Plus, I had to place a hold on all the credit cards so we can monitor those accounts.
But we had to go farther since we knew someone had our names and numbers; we had to place alerts with all the credit bureaus. We purchased service from Equifax using our both social security numbers to check recent activity. And it's a good thing we did.
Kevin has three mysterious accounts opened in his name that he does not have. All with purchases on them. All with up-to-date payment activity.
I have four mysterious accounts, again, with purchases and up-to-date payments.
We've contacted one credit card, and they say the account does not exist so the next step is to work with Equifax on Monday to remove the activity.
Hopefully, this all works out, and we can relax some on our vacation.