Identity Theft: Have you ever been a victim?

United States
November 2, 2006 1:30pm CST
A few years ago, someone used my Visa to order some things from a catalog. Luckily my bank noticed the unusual activity, contacted me to verify it was not me, and removed the charges from my account. It really made me aware of how easy it is for others to obtain you financial data, and now I shred everything with my name, address, and account information on it. I know I was lucky: some people have their complete identity stolen and spend years trying to re-establish their credit. Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? If so, what happened and how did it make you feel?
4 people like this
26 responses
@LovingIt (5398)
• United States
2 Nov 06
Yes, I had airplane tickets charged to my American Express card once. The tickets weren't even in my name, but since the person that charged them knew my account number and my address and phone number the airline refused to do anything about it. I was furious. The tickets were from San Antonio to Philadelphia. As I'd been to San Antonio a few weeks previously and used my American Express only at the hotel, it was pretty obvious that someone at the hotel got my information. I contacted American Express and they did remove the charges from my account, but it was a huge ordeal. I had to have my account cancelled and get a new card issued and had to sign all sort of paper and even agree to under go a lie detector test if need be in order to prove that I had nothing to do with the tickets that were puchased.
• United States
2 Nov 06
Wow, what a hassle. Hopefully they prosecuted the person that bought the tickets with your account, since the name would have to match up to his/her ID in order to board the plane.
1 person likes this
@LovingIt (5398)
• United States
22 Nov 06
Thanks for best response. I have no idea if they were prosecuted or not. Once they removed the charges from my card that was the last I heard of it.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Dec 06
Unfortunatly yes, I have had this happen just recently. We had a credit report run while trying to get approved for a loan. We found a charge off recorded on our account. It was an account opened in our name that we never opened! We are in the process of disputing and getting it off our otherwise great credit. It makes me so angry people do things like this!
@rebelann (75623)
• El Paso, Texas
18 Jul
I can't figure out how they can get all that information.
@mcmomss (2601)
• United States
27 Nov 06
I had someone use my Discover card to order something online. I disputed the charge, but the credit card company said the card was present when the purchase was made so they couldn't remove the charge. I have no idea how they could say the card was present when it was an online purchase. The person that used it was in Belguim and they purchased something from California. You would think that the fact that they bought a $15 item and paid over $85 to have it shipped to Belguim would tip someone off that something fishy was going on. I don't make too many online purchases anymore.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
It's interesting to hear your experience with Discover. You would think a big-name company would have its act together more than that.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Nov 06
I have had that happen to me a couple of times. I noticed that there were some charges on my account but I had my card with me the whole time. And my bank wouldn't take the charges off. I was really upset, but I sucked it up and went on. The second time it happened I was at a bank branch depositing my check and someone was using my "card" across town about a 30 min drive from where I was at the exact same time that I was in the bank branch depositing my check. As soon as I found out about the charges which was right when I got home, I immediately called the bank and they still didn't do anything about it even when I presented a copy of my transaction recipt from the bank. I was very mad and closed my account. Needless to say, I have never and will never open another account again.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Dec 06
Wow, that is terrible that the bank did not help you out. I don't blame you at all for closing your account. You should spread the word about that bank so that others know that they don't take care of their customers.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 06
Not me personally, but my roommate a couple years back was. We got a call from a detective asking why a girl we had never heard of would have his personal identifaction information. When my roommate said he had no clue, the detective told him,"that's what I thought, you are one of about two hundred names, socials, etc. that are on this girl's list" Apparently she worked at his cellular store and was collecting personal info. for her personal use and they needed to know how many people from the list would testify against her.
• United States
8 Nov 06
Wow, that is so scary. But on the other hand, it's not that hard for someone to get your information, especially if it's someone at work who might have access to your payroll / HR data.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 06
Thank God I haven't been a victim of Identity Theft *knocks on wood*. I did have someone try to obtain funds out of my paypal account though. Right now my account is on freeze because I need to reestablish it since they froze it. I just haven't gotten to that yet. It is very easy to obtain information and it's scary and I'm glad your situation didn't get too out of hand.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 06
Thanks Ashlee - I'm glad you have been lucky so far too. Hopefully our luck will continue to hold out.
2 people like this
• India
2 Nov 06
well thats so cool that it was done...i wonder if it could be done here as there are lot of these kind of activity....
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 06
I don't think it would hurt anything if someone hacked into your mylot account, but I'm weary of many of the links that people share here that gather personal data.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
2 Nov 06
be careful madam to order with your credit card via internet. It's not safe...why? 1. The website where you're order from maybe a scam website that gather your data and using it. 2. When the website was hacked by a hacker your credit card data was stolen too. So i'm advising you not to buy things with credit card. buy with paypal or something else.
1 person likes this
@suzieque (2335)
• Canada
2 Nov 06
It's never happened to me personally. But I heard a lot of stuff like that on the news here in Vancouver, BC. There are people that can go into your garbages and find out info from you like your bank statements, VISA info, ect. And I heard about people using connections to break into mailboxes at apartments so they can get that info. So it can be quite scary. So it is recommended by the police that people shred any inportant documents that you intend to throw in the garbage just like you are doing.
• United States
2 Nov 06
That reminds me of another good point that you brought up - the mail. Now, most all bills can be sent electronically and bills can be paid online. That way monthly statements won't be pulled out of the mail and the account number stolen that way.
1 person likes this
@Brandi06 (2227)
• United States
2 Nov 06
no i have not
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 06
Good for you Brandi.
1 person likes this
@hariharan23 (1076)
• India
2 Nov 06
not yet. im very carefull in these things
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 06
It's like everyone says, "Prevention is the cure." It's good that you're careful, hopefully you'll never have to worry about it.
1 person likes this
@mauldinmama (1502)
• United States
2 Nov 06
We had it happen to our account, the bank did correct the problem but it was scary because our account was hacked into.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 06
It's a good thing you caught it. You're right, it really is a scary feeling.
1 person likes this
@srhelmer (7033)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
2 Nov 06
Well, considering my credit isn't very good, I don't think they would accomplish anything by stealing my identity. I did, however, have someone use my name to obtain a fishing license a couple of years ago.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 06
You never know, I have heard of stories where people rent an apartment under someone else's name and SSN. Someone could do that and still not have great credit. Why would someone use your name to get a fishing license, though? That is very funny. Were they planning to fish keep some fish they should have thrown back? :)
1 person likes this
@nmw2005 (1197)
• United States
28 Nov 06
they got a hold of my credit card number, though they didn't have the correct exp. date. Needless to say when the credit company called me, I changed the number on the card right away.
1 person likes this
@dixielol (1581)
• United States
28 Nov 06
I have not. But my brother in law is in jail for that right now. He owned a repair shop & stole a few of his customers credit cards. Then he was also charged with mail fraud because he changed there mailing address to a diff. one. The ironic thing is, while he was in jail his wife was cheating on him with another man. She ending up taking her hubby of her checkin account & adding the new boyfriend. A few weeks later, somebody ordered alot of stuff on the net with there debit card. She took it to the bank to show them that it was shipped to a differant state. The bank kept saying that they wouldnt pay it. So she had me to go with her. I took the fraudulant order & her agremment with the banks sayin she was 100% protected from identity theft & told them that we would not leave until they fixed it. Finally after several hours, they agreed that she was not responsable for it. Then someone purchased a $900 iteam on my moms credit card. She dont use the internet so I have her accounts set up so that i can monotor them for her & pay her bills online. Anyway, the credit card company emailed me at 11:30 that night cause i have it set were if a purchase over $200 is made it notifies me by email. So I got the email & called the credit card company. The payment hadnt been posted yet & the iteam hadnt been shipped. So they called the company & cancelled it for her. She was lucky that me&her credit card company caught it on time.
1 person likes this
@forfein (2507)
27 Nov 06
No! But I know that it is on the increase, My sone now shreds all his junk mails through the postal system!
@girsang (354)
• Indonesia
27 Nov 06
NO, but this day i got some e-mail asked me login to my e-gold acount and give a link. I try to login from e-gold.com and my acount is fine. I think they want to steal my e-gold acount.
1 person likes this
@mjgarcia (725)
• United States
27 Nov 06
Ugh. I wrote a $3. check to a book club at my son's school. The teacher took it home to mail and someone stole it from her mailbox. Whoever took it cleaned it off and wrote a check to a big grocery chain. As long as you are on their data base - they don't check id. They turned my $3. check into $95. By the time I got home from out of state my account was way over drawn because of bounced check fees. There was a big hassle over the way the teacher filed the police report. Since my name wasn't specifically mentioned they wouldn't honor it as a stolen check. The next thing I knew, telecheck took it out of my account (causing more bounced checks) and then billed me another $25. My bank paid it, even though it had been reported and basically said too bad. I ended up paying it all out because everything I tried hit a brick wall. I'm just glad that it was one check and nothing more.
@sanell (2113)
• United States
27 Nov 06
Yes, Also a few years ago for me too, I was really really mad, My card noticed unusualy behavior of spending and they did remove the charges on my account I was very glad, basically I had my card attached to my gas tag, and when we went to valet the car my spouse accidentally left the gas tag on my keys so they got the pin number and went crazy buying gas all over the place and buying tons of mcdonalds food items....Luckily that was the only two things they could do with my card but it did cause about $200.00 in charges that had to be wiped off my card. I did report it as it only made sense for that!
@kylesmiles (1911)
• United States
27 Nov 06
I had an account/credit card with "XYZ Bank" and I hadn't used it in MONTHS. Anyway, I used the card and shortly after, the bank called me to verify that it was me! :) I am glad they were watching my activity for me.
1 person likes this