This happens to other people – not us!

I had a bad feeling last week when my daughter received two letters from an online bank saying that she had applied for two credit cards and needed to call them if she wanted the cards. She went to our credit union to have a flag put on her account, and she called a credit bureau and asked for a fraud alert. There was no number at which we could contact the online bank unless she wanted to activate the cards. I thought it was a phishing scam, and since she didn’t respond, we assumed the matter was handled.
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Yesterday, she received a credit card from a third business, as well as a letter from the same online bank telling her that a third card had been requested. That’s four credit cards through the same online bank. Since the bank again did not give us a customer service number or a fraud number, and there was no way to reach them, she called the credit card company. Someone had opened an account online with her name, address, and social security number. The business told her she wouldn’t have to pay the more than $400 which had been charged, cancelled the account for her, and gave her the fraud number of the bank. It would have been helpful had they had that number on their previous letters or their website.

She called the number provided, and a helpful representative told her that a second card had been issued in her name with more than $500 charged on it. He cancelled that card, assuring her that she wouldn’t owe anything, and told her to call the social security office and the police.

Last night, a very knowledgeable deputy sheriff spent about an hour with us, filling out a police report. She now has an active, open case which will be handled by a detective. She also put a daily watch on her social security number through a credit bureau. In the meantime, we need to speak again with our credit union concerning changing her account and debit card numbers.

She was, and is, quite upset. Why would someone intelligent enough to do all that waste his/hers abilities breaking the law instead of earning a living with them?

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About Robin Helm

Robin Helm has published all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy. She also recently published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

7 thoughts on “This happens to other people – not us!

  1. Susan Kaye

    This is the perfect storm of practicality. Credit card companies and banks are more willing to pay billions of dollars that result from fraud and theft rather than make it difficult to obtain or use a credit card. When the bottom line is big enough to absorb the evil people do, people get away with it.

    You asked, Why would someone intelligent enough to do all that waste his/hers abilities breaking the law instead of earning a living with them?

    Because they can. And to some people, it’s a challenge.

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  2. Robin Helm Post author

    And we’re still dealing with it, Sue. Today we’re filing paperwork with the IRS. Monday, we’ll visit the social security office, since nobody there will answer the phone.

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    1. Susan Kaye

      From what I’ve read, ID theft is the “gift” that keeps on giving. Filing the police report is key. Without a declaration that a crime was committed, nothing else matters. One the good side, if this was a matter of someone slotting in random numbers, all the alerts on her various account numbers will make using it fruitless and time consuming. Unfortunately, those numbers are now on sale all over the world.

      Time and the police seem to be the best friends any victim of this crime have.

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      1. Susan Kaye

        As a little aside, I saw a blip on the news last night that overdraft fees were through the roof profit wise for the major banks. That being the case, and overdraft fees being a simple slurp for banks, security on credit cards would be less than vital. Interesting thing is that Bing and Google have stories about high overdraft fees, but none of them are recent. All are for 2012-13 or earlier.

        It’s getting harder and harder for me to disbelieve conspiracy theorists.

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      2. Robin Helm Post author

        She has frozen her credit. She would have to unfreeze it herself in order to get a credit card. She filled out the IRS paperwork today, and we’re going to the Social Security office Monday. We really needed something else to do.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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