Identity theft is a growing problem not only in the United States, but around the world due to the web. Just like anyone else that has been a victim in the past, I have enrolled in email alerts from the credit reporting agencies and my bank, listened to the news reports on how to protect your self from the real life identity thieves, and even considered opening a Life Lock account to monitor my life. Being a prior victim, I live in fear when it comes to my person information. Each time, it has been a different situation, but the ending result has always been the same; I ended up feeling helpless. I guess one can never be too careful right?
Today I was out most of the day running errands. I did not use any cards. I had an early afternoon appointment to get my car serviced. Everything went as normal until I tried to swipe my card. The transaction declined. I knew how much money was in the account, so like anyone else, I informed him to run it again. The second time it happened, the clerk tried to make me feel better blaming it on their credit card machine. Embarrassed, I quietly asked where was their nearest ATM machine.
Like I said, I knew the amount that I should have had in this account, so when I checked my balance and read as the machine displayed that I had a negative balance, I was horrified. I quickly called my card company, to have them fix the glitch that had to be going on. I waited on hold for what felt like an eternity as I listened to their elevator music. I don’t know if it was just my nerves, but the hold music was annoying me to death. Once the customer service rep came on the line, I quickly verified my information and told him my plight. Quietly he waited for me to tell my story, before he gave me the bad news. He informed me that the reason why I had a negative balance was because of the back to back credit purchases made at a Walgreen’s in Danville on Sunday at 8:37 pm.
I almost passed out. Sunday, at 8:37? I was having car troubles at that time, ie the reason why I was getting my vehicle checked out now! Danville? Where the hell is Danville, and how was the person able to make a credit purchase, when I had my card in my hand? This is when the helpless feeling kicked in. I have heard of cyber crimes, or someone using a lost card, but not one I still had in my possession Quickly, I canceled the card, and asked the gentleman, could he give me anymore information, but that is all he had. It wasn’t until the third call, is when I found out that there are 17 states that have a city of Danville, but it was impossible for him to narrow it down to which one. It wasn’t until my fourth call and after the demand that I speak to a supervisor is when I was finally given a number to Walgreen’s online customer service. The supervisor also informed me that there are new devices now that all one has to do is have it close enough to you to have access to capture your card information, and in turn, they can make a duplicate version of your card.
This information floored me. I don’t know how to wake up out of this nightmare. I had to cancel all my cards, my pay pal accounts, everything. The only good thing is that it was a credit card purchase, so hopefully, a signature check can straighten everything out, but it is truly a waiting game. I am scared on how far this person has went, if they had the ability to recreate a card. Did they get an id in my name as well? I really don’t know. The only thing that I can do is pray that everything will turn out in my favor.