Back in 2008, we took a family trip to Hawaii. Hawaii is one relaxing place. The temperature was the same 24 hours a day with a small amount of humidity. When I stepped away from the tranquility of the island, I jumped on a computer. Unfortunately, my passwords were stolen from that public computer.
About two weeks later, I found my checking account balance to be a negative $500. That causes a panic attack. I received information that my checking account was hacked into via my Pay Pal account. Remember, you have to link your Pay Pal account to the bank. Pay Pal support said that they would get it fixed. However, my creditors were not buying it. They wanted to get paid. After a few weeks, I did not have any funds. I contacted the bank. They said they would repair the account with signed affidavits and a notarized form. I got that done right away. Within the next 72 hours the money was back in the bank.
I still had to get new bank cards and make adjustments to my account. This was my first experience as a victim of identity theft. It hit at the wrong time as other items impacted our checking account at the same time.
About a year later, on payday, I was getting a haircut. I went to pay after it was done. My debit card was declined. I called the bank from the barber shop. After they identified me, the representative had asked me if I had been to Romania recently. I told her that I had never been in Romania. She said that my debit card had been reproduced in this country. They made two large withdrawals. In this particular case, the bank fixed it right away and paid for my haircut. I still had to get a new debit card. Identity theft is real. It is definitely real for me.
Do what is necessary to protect your identity. I am very sure that the people that get my information don’t care who’s information they get. They just want to secure information from someone who has some money that they can spend. Think about all of the big companies that are getting hacked into right now.
One simple precaution is to see what type of protection you have on your debit and credit cards. Your bank should protect and give you full coverage from any transaction that you did not make. If they do not, find yourself a better bank.
About a month ago, I received a text from my banks fraud protection service asking me if I was making a withdrawal in Las Vegas. I wanted to be in Las Vegas playing the slots but I was not there. The individual that was stealing from my card tried to steal more money than I had in my account. This is one time that the thief was actually captured with theft in progress.
Needless to say, Identity theft is real. It can happen to anyone whether you have a lot of assets or just a few assets. Make sure you spend the $10 or less and get identity theft protection.