Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Compromised Credit and Identity Theft

Have any of you had your identity compromised? DH has apparently had that happen to him. Three different bank accounts have been set up under his name and address. I became aware of this late last week and have now spent more than 2-1/2 hours on the phone with the bank fraud department and our local police department. DH and I have an early morning appointment with a bank representative tomorrow morning, then I'll have to run off to the shop. Hopefully I won't be too late. 

DH doesn't use a debit card, he still writes paper checks. We're
experiencing bank fraud, not credit card fraud, and I suppose
we can be thankful about that. 

It's annoying and a time sink and rather invasive and extremely uncomfortable. It's just using DH's name and address, not his social security number, but it's still an invasion of personal space and privacy. It's a bit frightening too. I'm rather determined that when I retire and don't have the shop any more, I'm renting an "address" from the local UPS or Mail Boxes Etc franchise so that all of my mail and packages can be sent there instead of my house. 

I like our main mail carrier for the shop. Jean has
a great personality and I love that she listens to
audio books while on her route. Our previous carrier,
Greg, retired last year after more than forty years
with the USPS. 

Currently, I have my packages sent to my shop address. As a business, we get boxes and mail through the door all the time, and we have regular predictable hours and a mail person who is assigned to the route and who we know by name. Currently our mail person is Jean - she's great. She's usually listening to audio books while she walks her route. It's a great way for her to read while being on her feet. 

We have a digital answering machine at home. Since
DH doesn't hear well, he's instructed to just let the
phone flip over to the machine. Usually it's information
about charities in the area for pick-up of clothing, etc.
This time it was a helpful "OMG" message for me. 

Of course, there is no way of knowing if DH's identity theft originated from a piece of mail that was either stolen or misdirected. We became aware of the new bank accounts through a phone call made to the business and then a followup call made to home. The call to home was fortunate. I've trained DH to NOT answer the phone since he can't hear well. He just lets the machine record messages and I listen to them later that night. The scammers phoned, requesting a deposit to activate the accounts. That started the bloodhound examination on my part and, hopefully, will eventually lead to the capture of these individuals. At least we hope we can get things cleared up on our end and not have any negative credit or tax implications. 

So, excitement in the Frozen Northlands, where we're still getting snow even though it's almost mid-April. Ridiculous! Have a great Wednesday and I'll be back tomorrow. 

No comments: