Friday, February 19, 2010

Credit Theft

Last night I learned something interesting.

I learned that credit thieves are becoming ever more sophisticated. Thieves can now run a special strip through an ATM or credit card swipe device, and record your credit card information. They can send this data instantly to a mobile device and use the data to make a brand-new ATM card with their own names on it -- or whatever name they use on their fake identification.

They can use this card to make purchases right up until the account gets blocked and the card won't work anymore.

I learned this last night because this is happening to me. Someone in Ohio has been using my debit card information. They ate at McDonald's and gassed up their car, and then proceeded to a K-Mart to buy quite a lot of merchandise.

By sheer luck, I recently opened a new bank account, so I will be all right. My first bank account, however, has been depleted, with overdraft fees and other penalties applied (presumably they will be reversed once the investigation is complete). The last check I wrote on that account has bounced as a result, and it will take a week or two to straighten everything out.

What do I have to say about that? I take a deep, deep breath in, and I release it all in one long exhale as I extend my tongue and let out a long, loud raspberry: Pffffffpppppffffpffffftttt!

6 comments:

Ji Hyang said...

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Kelly said...

What a nightmare!

I'm sorry this is happening to you and I hope it doesn't take long to resolve.

Pam said...

What a bummer, Alg!! I've had my credit card # stolen before, but, fortunately, it was my AMEX and they are good about calling if they see unusual activity and alert me and I'm not liable for the charges.

My daughter has had her debit card # taken before and it was a nightmare.

I just have to shake my head and wonder what the world is coming to. It's just sad that keeping one step ahead of thieves is such a headache these days.

I'm almost paranoid about where I use my debit card. Infact, I'm VERY careful about where I use it.

quid said...

What rotten luck!

quid

j said...

what a horrible, horrible thing to happen to such a good person.. i hope the universe rights itself.

Ivy said...

Sorry to hear about this. I had my identity stolen and luckily realized something was wrong by the way my computer was behaving - web pages were being cleverly redirected and were mimicing the real bank web site! I was able to stop it before it really got rolling, but what a feeling of vulnerability. I had to get all new cards, bank accounts, change passwords, etc. Maybe you should put a fraud alert on the three credit reporting agencies so they can watch for other activity, if that's appropriate for your situation. Yuck.