Brings you information and methods to help improve your financial future.
To start building wealth, most people simply need to change
The collapse/correction of the United States real estate
market continues. Read more about it here.
=> Identity Theft
Identity TheftYears ago, in 2001, I was the victim of identity theft. Please note that this was several years before identity theft was known well to the general public. I recieved notification that a credit card bill was not processed by my credit card company. When checking my credit card account online, it would not allow me to login. Instead, there was a message showing that I should call a 1-800 number immediately.
So I did...
There on the phone, a customer service rep said, hold on, I need to get my sercurity officer. Then it began... I was interrogated. What seemed like an hour or more on the phone, I was asked many questions. I answered them in detail. I did not know what was going on. One question after another. I was thinking to myself- what the heck is this... is it a joke. Am I part of a hidden camea tv show such as candid camera?! He would ask a personal question I would answer. He would ask another question I would answer. He would ask a similar question to a previous question, but in a different way and I would answer. He would ask a question that he asked before and I would answer again. All I wanted to know is why a bill was not paid! This was going on forever... Then, Finally, the questions were over.
He said "Okay Mr. xxxxx, now that I know this really is you... let me
explain that your credit card has been cancelled. It has not been temporally
closed... it has been CANCELLED due to fradulent activity on the account".
"She got your credit card payment out of the mail", he explained.
Of course... I mailed a personal check (which had my name, my social security number (my stupidity), address, and checking account number on it) to my credit card company to pay the account, and she stole it from the mail! What a low-life thief!
So I asked the security officer... "what do I need to do?" He said "you need to close your other accounts immediately".
So I hung up the phone with him and raced to the bank. There, I went in and frantically explained everything to the bank employee. She sat me down, and gathered information. We started going through my accounts to verfiy all transactions. Once we were confident about posted transactions, she brought me papers.. and then more papers to sign. Finally, we closed my accounts. She explained, that if the accounts were used illegally (like from ilegal check writing), then we wouldn't know until later, when the checks tried to clear.
She was very nice and as the bank closed (it was after 6:00PM on Friday)... the bank employees allowed me to stay while we continued to straightened things out. After about another hour, we had new accounts opened, but they explained to me it would be at least a week before the money would really be in the new accounts (something about the federal banking system). So after all the papework, I left the bank, feeling a little better that maybe my accounts would be secure again (even though I was technically broke for at least a week, until some money gets into the new accounts).
As I drove home, I felt very violated and angry.