Identity Theft Victims – In Their Own Words

Identity theft can strike anyone. Unfortunately, even BankInfoSecurity.com’s staff have been past victims of identity theft. Luckily, the two stories have been resolved. Read on to hear first-hand, the pain of identity theft, and what lengths victims have to take to resolve the crime and restore their identity. Both of the staffer’s names have been withheld to prevent further harm. These stories are good examples of why financial institutions must increase customer education on identity theft and continue their vigilance in verifying customer information.

He Was Only Part of Widespread Scam

“Some time after I placed an order with an online printing company (VistaPrint), I began receiving the fraudulent charges to my debit card from a company I had never heard of. I did a Google search on the name of the company as it appeared on my statement, which immediately returned many results pointing to the fact that it was part of a widespread scam. As I did more research I was able to verify that many people all across the country were affected by this scam. Apparently, it was being run by a seemingly reputable advertiser/media partner of a large, well-known online printing company (VistaPrint). Somehow, this advertiser had gotten a hold of my information and unbeknownst to me, signed me up for whatever they were touting as their “service”. Needless to say, calls to the phone number listed for this “company” were never answered. I saw this as both an issue with VistaPrint’s vendor management policies, as well as their information security practices.

I immediately alerted my bank to the fraud. They were very helpful and quickly reversed all fraudulent charges. I then had to cancel the card and the checking account that was associated with it, and open a new one. This was a major inconvenience, not only having to do it, but for the many automated bill payments processed to that account. Cell phone, employment payroll direct deposit, car payment, you name it. Anything and everything I used the account for had to be changed to reflect the new account. I had to notify each of the payees one by one – a major inconvenience. I also needed to alert the 3 major credit bureaus and put an alert on my credit report stating that an account was compromised.

All in all, the experience made me think twice and take extra precautions when making purchases online.”

He Didn’t Move To Tennessee

“About 3 years ago, I received a phone call from my credit card company who asked me to verify if I had recently attempted to make some online purchases. One order was for $1800 and the other (which was declined) was for $3300. I did not make these purchases and my credit card company said I would not be responsible for the one charge that went through.

My credit card company also wanted to verify that I had requested an address change to an address in Tennessee. I did not. They informed me that in order to make an address change, one needs to know either the Social Security Number or mother's maiden name. The credit card company cancelled my card and issued me a new one. I then contacted a few credit services and also my bank to alert them of possible suspicious activity. That was the end of that.”


About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.




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