Identity Theft


 

For once this is exactly what it says on the tin.  I’m talking literally.  I have never before been the victim of identity theft, but a few days ago my credit/c company phoned me to ask about a suspicious transaction.  It was over a grand.  They hadn’t let it go through so there was no real harm and they cancelled the card and are sending a new one.  I thought that was the end of it.

Then, yesterday, I go to the ATM to draw some money on my other c/c (I only have the two and use them for small transactions).  Machine tells me “insufficient funds”.  Now my heart starts to race because I’ve not spent anywhere near my limit and the first incident suddenly looks much more ominous.

I get home and log on to my account.  It’s in the minus.  One transaction near £2000 and another, as yet not gone through, for a similar amount.  The second one has probably not been authorised because my credit limit is really not that high, but my account has big red letters ordering me to pay immediately.

I’ve phoned the second c/c and explained it so it’s logged now, but I have no idea what happens in these cases.  I’m feeling stressed about it because a) I don’t know if it is a straightforward process to get the 2nd company to believe I didn’t order the transaction (it was a balance transfer) and b) this isn’t just one random breach on one card – it’s someone who has my details and knows where I have credit.  This freaks me out because I can’t think how someone would get that information.

I now have no credit as my cards are cancelled, but I’m more concerned to know how it happened and if I need to do something to stop it happening again.  I shred my post, but I do a lot of internet shopping, so whether that’s to blame???

I’m trying not to get panicked but I feel a little violated and I don’t really know of anyone else who this has happened to.

8 thoughts on “Identity Theft

  1. Pls delete that first comment, I was logged in with my other account by accident!
    Internet shopping, perhaps. It may have been a dodgy site – look out for ones that have mastercard secure pay, so you have to enter more details, like you have a password for it and only enter certain letters. I hope you can get the money back!

  2. Sorry to hear this has happened to you, but just for the record it is very common these days. Not sure if that makes you feel any better? I recently had unauthorised translations on my CC too, fortunately they didn’t go through either.

    They can get your credit card details from internet shopping. How good is your protection software? A simple wormy type thing in your registry can save and send your details very easily. Or the favourite trick is a skimming device on an ATM – they get more and more sophisticated. I nearly rip the front off machines before using them these days, but even that doesn’t protect you as these people really know what they are doing.

    Sadly there are other more underhand ways that people can get hold of your details too, but that’s not worth losing sleep over as it is entirely out of anyone’s control.

    If you are concerned about identity theft, then you could have a look at: http://www.cifas.org.uk/ That was the link we always used to give out at work. Or there is always Experian to check your credit rating etc etc. You might just be better off taking a wait and see approach now that you’ve cancelled the cards. If you are still worried then you could ask your bank for advice on your current account, in case that has been put at risk too.

    It’s a horrible feeling to be ripped off, I’m sorry it’s left you feeling violated.

    Lola x

    • Hi Lola,

      thanks for taking the time to comment in detail. It does make me feel better knowing I’m not unusual in having this happen, so thanks for that.

      I have decent protection on my pc, but I’ve not heard of the registry thing, so not sure if that could get by the anti-virus stuff.

      I’ve got a list of stuff I need to do now, similar to what you suggest, and I might take a look at the link you kindly gave (when I’ve got my reading head screwed on).

      Again, advice muchly appreciated – it’s taken me a while to reply to the comments on this post coz I’ve been alternating stress-head with ostrich-head,

      Louise x

  3. Hey Louise,

    I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. Very unlucky. Couple of tips:

    Always make sure your firewall/antivirus are updated – I use Comodo which is an awesome free one.

    As the others have said above make sure you only put bank details on reputable sites e.g. amazon

    Do not reply to banking spam messages in your email inbox. They pretend to be legitimate links to banking websites when in fact your entering all your details for these people to access your banking accounts.

    Make sure on websites that your entering details that there is a secure padlock symbol.

    Change all your passwords to different complicated number and letter sequences and do not store them on your computer as a reminder.

    Hope the bank gets your money back soon,

    Dom x

    • Hey Dom,

      thanks for the tips. I’m certainly going to keep things tight from now on. I suspect I’ll never know the leak that caught me out – internet, pc, ATM, and God knows what other methods can be used. I was thinking just how often we give name/address etc over the phone for all kinds of reasons.
      The password changes are high up on my agenda – really good bit of advice, thanks,

      Louise x

  4. Sorry to hear about this [hug]. I agree with the others who’ve said it was probably internet shopping. They’re crawling out from under their stones at present. I’ve had two attempts to get my banking details in the past 10 days using apparently genuine logos. There’s generally something to click which will activate their worm and, they hope, by-pass your security. Don’t click and do report it to your ISP: if there’s a ‘report spam’ option that should do the trick. The last time I used this on AOL a general warning about the scam in question appeared on-screen two days later. ;D

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