Monday, August 5, 2013

Go Ahead and Try to Take All You Can Get

My bank’s fraud protection bureau called, texted, and emailed me the other day. We haven't been in touch in awhile and it's always nice to hear from those I hold in high regard.

I used to be the one to initiate the contact. Among other snafus, I’ve fallen for an attempted banking-related scam in the past. The scammers keep trying their luck with me, this is what they’re doing with their lives. Now, I start off suspecting that nearly every caller, texter, and emailer who isn’t a part of my contacts list is out to grab my assets. I assumed my benevolent bank’s voicemail, text, and email were frauds themselves until I remembered how I’ve been spending money like a Bravo Real Housewife lately.

It’s a nightmare when someone seizes your account information or social security number and has his or her criminal way with it. But who coined the term “identity theft” (can I nail down a name and a date of birth)? It’s so dramatic, so Bravo and Real Housewives. When I first heard it, I thought it crossed over into brainwashing, forced lobotomy, or sci-fi territory. Good thing it's not that deep. If something is just a huge, drawn-out inconvenience, I'll cope. I'll eventually wake up from a nightmare. Inconveniences, the bigger and bolder the better, can bloom into good stories. I get joy out of being able to tell a new person about the weekday afternoon the underworld came dangerously close to stealing my identity, knowing that my real identity is complex, private, and incapable of going anywhere without my express authorization. 


  1. I've never experienced full scale identity theft (thank god!) but have had my credit card numbers stolen several times. It is a royal pain in the butt. Most recently someone, somehow accessed my Macy's account and ordered several large ticket items. I got a call from Macy's to see if the order was legit. I was able to tell them that I had been on a plane all day and had certainly not placed the order. Stupid crook, however, sent one of the packages to my house so I had to go through the hassle of returning it. Maddening!

  2. I confess that I sometimes lie awake at night worrying about someone getting into my computer (remotely) and stealing my banking information, my Social Security number, my credit card numbers, etc. I have installed Avast Anti-Virus, Super-Anti Spyware, and Malwarebytes. Somewhere in all of that is a firewall, probably more than one. I also construct impossible passwords for everything that requires them. (Yes, I keep a booklet for my passwords--no one could possibly remember them all.) And yet I know that I am no match for some brilliant hacker out there who would just love to steal my precious 50 cents, the 50 cents that stands between me and the pavement. Is it any wonder that we are a nation on tranquilizers? And, yes, someone did get into one of my bank accounts--but they did it by hacking into the bank's computers, not mine. I know this because I do not keep that particular account on my computer. I thought I would be "safer" by keeping one account far away from my own computer. Ha!

  3. Glad it's just an inconvenience and not a major problem. I had an issue with my PayPal account once. I got an email saying my checking account which was my back up funding for PayPal was overdrawn by $4000. A huge hassle but luckily it was all resolved with no further damage.