Identity Theft

Dear Readers,

     This story happened to us on the 10th anniversary weekend of the terrorist attacks.  Amazing timing, huh! 

Identity Theft

      Like most other Americans hubby and I planned to watch a lot of TV for the upcoming weekend of 9-11-11, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States.  We didn’t expect it to be memorable for us as well.

     On 9-8-11, Thursday, we received a strange phone message, " This is …… bank.  Could you please call us as soon as possible!"  When we returned the call we were asked, " Did you try to purchase airline tickets to Mumbai, India? " the bank security asked.

     " No, we never fly!" my husband told the man on the phone who represented a bank back east.

     "We want you to cut up your credit card and we will issue a new one," he went on.  We hesitated before doing that.  Sometimes we are a little slow to respond, but both of us looked at each other and asked, "What was that all about?"

     The next day, 9-9-11, Friday evening, another call came in, this time from a local bank here in Missouri.  "Did you try to purchase $900 worth of sports equipment from ……. (a sporting goods store)?"

     "No, we don’t even have a store like that anywhere in this area!" CJ told them.

     This call finally registered.  We were the victims of identity theft!  Thank God, so far both banks were on their guard and looking for changes from our usual purchases.  We have since learned the security is heightened because so much identity theft is going on, as well as the anniversary weekend.

     Our next step was to notify the local police to what was happening and fill out a police report (necessary in order to get some things like driver’s licenses changed), to have documented proof.

     As the 10th anniversary weekend came and went so did the calls, several of which were attempted purchases of almost $1,000 each.  Pretty clever when you think about the weekend when most Americans would be at home watching and reliving all the memories of ten years ago, as well as the fact that all the banks were closed up tight.

     The calls continued as the terrorist attack anniversary came and went.  The police told us to get to as many banks as we could bright and early Monday morning, and to cancel, stop, and cut-up everything in our world and prepare to start over.  Go to the registry, go to the internet, go to the banks, go to …… Put a stop on everything, just everything!  We were even told to notify our neighbors to watch our home as break-ins often follow identity theft.

     The police told us it’s almost impossible to find the source of the leak.  It could be any place you swipe your cards, or the internet, or walking by someone with a magnet dohicky.

     We did all we were told to do including the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  We were told to check on our balances daily at all our banks and credit cards.  Also, we were told to call the three credit companies and put fraud alerts on our names.

     And, as usual the Lord was watching over us.  At one of our banks our assistant said to us, "Plead the blood of Jesus over all your finances, your house, and all your things!" she said.  (Not an uncommon remark here in the bible belt.)

     The anniversary weekend passed and the calls started slowing down, praise God.  We are back to using cash for everything, which is a little inconvenient, but I’m not sure we shouldn’t be doing more of that anyway.  A friend sent me an email that was very helpful, with several legal hints on ways to protect against identity theft.  I suggest you click on it and learn some great tips from an attorney who was also hit by this ugly theft problem.

     Most importantly, I believe the Lord was watching over us as He usually does.  Thousands of dollars in purchases could have gotten through, but were stopped.  "Thank You Father, so much!  A lot of people don’t think You stopped this, but I do and that is what counts!"

                    Love in Christ,      Claire  xoxo

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