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identity theft
Old 10-23-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
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identity theft

I am not sure if this was discussed before but has anybody been a victim of idendity theft? how did it impact you and what did you do about it?

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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: identity theft

I lost a couple of grand in 2001 to identity theft. Through something I purchased online, they got my Visa card number and made a huge number of charges. Unfortunately I did not monitor my card because it was a debit card and my balance was quite high. By the time I found out, more than sixty days had passed and that was too long for the debit card to reimburse me for some of the charges. Charges varied from airline flights in Australia, to escort services and porno subscriptions online. The bank covered sixty days, but after that it was my responsibility. Frankly it was my own inattention that caused my loss, so I don't blame anyone else.

Since that affair, I have opened a separate bank account with a much smaller balance for using online. I monitor the purchases on every debit/credit card the second I receive the statement.

The bank did nothing to try and trace the theives although they left lots of clues.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskaverse
I lost a couple of grand in 2001 to identity theft. Through something I purchased online, they got my Visa card number and made a huge number of charges.
I never use a debit card and don't understand why anyone uses them. I Just pay the CC off every month. For those of you who use debit cards, are you protected against misuse in the same manner that you are with credit cards? Can you point out that you didn't make the purchase and get your money back? And why do you use them in the first place -- I assume there is an advantage I am not aware of.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 01:43 PM   #4
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I never use a debit card and don't understand why anyone uses them. I Just pay the CC off every month. For those of you who use debit cards, are you protected against misuse in the same manner that you are with credit cards? Can you point out that you didn't make the purchase and get your money back? And why do you use them in the first place -- I assume there is an advantage I am not aware of.
Get cash back at the grocery store instead of going to the ATM.

BA and VISA do offer same as CC protection.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
Get cash back at the grocery store instead of going to the ATM.

BA and VISA do offer same as CC protection.
Aha. The ATM is so convenient to me that a grocery store advantage never crossed my mind. But you don't get frequent flyer miles or other incentives for debits do you?
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
Aha. The ATM is so convenient to me that a grocery store advantage never crossed my mind. But you don't get frequent flyer miles or other incentives for debits do you?
I don't. I think some do.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: identity theft

I use my debit card extensively, and can't imagine doing without it.
I use it for anything more than about $5, (if there is a quick, easy machine available).

I guess I only prefer this to using a credit card because if I get lazy or forgetful or busy and forget to pay the cc bill, I am socked with huge late charges and finance fees.

By having the cash flowing out of my bank account in (almost) real time, I don't have that big bill to pay once a month, but am always current.


When I update my spending records each month, I have one statement with every purchase made and every bill paid (most autowithdrawals).

I only use a c.c. for airline tickets or other major purchases that I want to extend, or have extra protection for.

It just seems simpler for me.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 04:29 PM   #8
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I guess I only prefer this to using a credit card because if I get lazy or forgetful or busy and forget to pay the cc bill, I am socked with huge late charges and finance fees.

I only use a c.c. for airline tickets or other major purchases that I want to extend, or have extra protection for.

It just seems simpler for me.
I just pay all the bills on time. I put virtually everything on CCs and collect frequent flyer miles on all my expenses. My daughter and I flew to Hawaii this summer on the CC miles. I went to Seattle on it. I would consider a debit card if it produced miles but I can't see what the incentive would be to the card company.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-24-2006, 04:37 PM   #9
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Re: identity theft

with a credit card, fraud won't result in your checking account being drained (and legit checks bouncing down the sidewalk).
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 01:00 PM   #10
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Re: identity theft

The media has succeeded in making me a little paranoid about identity theft. Therefore...

1. We have security freezes on our credit reports
2. If I ever send a check in the mail I use a gel pen and mail it from the post office (i.e. not from our mailbox on the street)
3. I turn off paper statements that could be intercepted in the mail
4. I have all bills paid automatically from CC
5. I check CC activity regularly online
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The media has succeeded in making me a little paranoid about identity theft. Therefore...

1. We have security freezes on our credit reports
2. If I ever send a check in the mail I use a gel pen and mail it from the post office (i.e. not from our mailbox on the street)
3. I turn off paper statements that could be intercepted in the mail
4. I have all bills paid automatically from CC
5. I check CC activity regularly online
6. I no longer post aerial photos of my house on the forum so some old retired guy with too much time on his hands can use Google Earth to locate me.

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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: identity theft

Yeah, me neither!
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 03:27 PM   #13
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The media has succeeded in making me a little paranoid about identity theft. Therefore...

1. We have security freezes on our credit reports
2. If I ever send a check in the mail I use a gel pen and mail it from the post office (i.e. not from our mailbox on the street)
3. I turn off paper statements that could be intercepted in the mail
4. I have all bills paid automatically from CC
5. I check CC activity regularly online
I do most of these myself so I guess I've been caught up in the paranoia.

OTOH, I read somewhere that 50-75% of identity theft cases result from a family member, housemate, cleaner, nanny, or someone who has access to records kept at the house.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 04:12 PM   #14
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The media has succeeded in making me a little paranoid about identity theft. Therefore...

1. We have security freezes on our credit reports
2. If I ever send a check in the mail I use a gel pen and mail it from the post office (i.e. not from our mailbox on the street)
3. I turn off paper statements that could be intercepted in the mail
4. I have all bills paid automatically from CC
5. I check CC activity regularly online
I do these things too.

Plus:
  • I have a separate CC for automatic bill paying versus retail/on-line shopping. I already got burned once and had to change CC numbers.
  • I manage much of my bill-paying on-line.
  • I won't access any on-line accounts on any computer except my own.
  • I won't touch a debit card - I'm too worried about someone draining my bank account. I rarely need to withdraw cash (don't use much) so this is not a problem.
  • I use a credit monitoring service
  • I shred all bills, credit receipts, etc.

Has anyone read about the recent problems of brokerage accounts being accessed through fraud? Apparently some crooks have installed keystroke spyware software on public computers (public library, hotels, etc.) and gained people's account numbers and passwords. They then access the brokerage account to buy thinly traded stocks that are already owned by the crooks.

Audrey
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 05:25 PM   #15
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Re: identity theft

I'm the OP and I was a victim of identity theft a few years back that cost me lots of time money and aggrevation and it could have been much worse if not for the work of a diligent clerk at a department store who suspected errors on a credit application with my SS number, address and other info.

Since then I have been prudent with my financial info. I shred all pertinent financial document including credit card solicitations. The only CC that I use online is a Citibank CC with a feature that randomely selects a different number to be transmitted to the retailer with an expiration date of one month. I monitor the activities on my debit and credit accounts on a weekly basis and I also subscribed to a credit monitoring service that notifies me whenever an inquiry into my credit report is requested. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-25-2006, 07:39 PM   #16
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Re: identity theft

I shred all info that has name and address on it.
Citibank random number is a really good idea. I am planning to use it.
Another good feature is a temporary email address you can use to sign up for things and don't wnat to receive junk emails later (mailexpire.com works well).

I've had my share of identity problems whan someone in the same state and the same name (not sure if it was ID theft or not) had a business that went bankrupt. Since this guy disappeared lawers directed their attention to me; some even filed lawsuits against me. I've had to file with the FTC, the police... Since then I keep everything even more stealth and I am always using my middle name for important transactions.


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Re: identity theft
Old 10-26-2006, 01:22 PM   #17
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Re: identity theft

We had our CC duplicated when we were in Mexico. The bank caught it right away and disabled the CC. All charges were reversed by just signing one form.

Subsequently we tracked the origin down and there was wholesale fraud going on in a restaurant in our complex. The owner (from Seattle) had to fire 6 people who were in on it, stealing from him too.
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-26-2006, 04:38 PM   #18
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Re: identity theft

How did you track the origin down?

I had someone start using my credit card number fraudulently. BofA caught it immediately, and blocked the charges, disabled the card and provided new cards. But I had really no idea how the number was taken. I hadn't done any internet purchases in quite a while. I was traveling cross country at the time.

It could have been any restaurant, or truck stop, or RV park I suppose.

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Re: identity theft
Old 10-26-2006, 06:33 PM   #19
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The media has succeeded in making me a little paranoid about identity theft. Therefore...

1. We have security freezes on our credit reports
2. If I ever send a check in the mail I use a gel pen and mail it from the post office (i.e. not from our mailbox on the street)
3. I turn off paper statements that could be intercepted in the mail
4. I have all bills paid automatically from CC
5. I check CC activity regularly online
Hi,

Almost directed this at Al since we have had discussions/helped eachother with BOA and Quicken but hopefully someone can add more...

Al,

How did you freeze your credit reports, I ve seen it before but can't remeber?

Also, I think you are using Bank of America/Quicken and Fido from Memory.

We just signed up for FIDO, New Retirement management account (yes finally dumped FI). Are you using this account paying bill or stillgoing thru BOA? BOA is good because it's easy to use with Quicken but looking for feedback using Fido and Quicken..

Thx

Wally

Formerly Wallygator69 (MISSED THE EMAIL, I GUESS, SO CHANGED TO WALLY GADOR)
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Re: identity theft
Old 10-27-2006, 01:34 PM   #20
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Re: identity theft

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
How did you track the origin down?
We had two neighbors also defrauded while in PV. One with a Visa from Mill Bay CA, another with a Visa from Bellingham WA and me with an MC from Vancouver BC. We were all defrauded. Where had we all used our charge cards? Only one place! My DW had used our Visa in another common place but not the MC.

BTW it is usually a smaller establishment with fewer controls. This can eliminate grocery/big box stores and chains if they are also common.
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