I cannot believe I got sucked into an identity theft scam.
While logging in to look at the credit card bill I had run up over the holidays, a curious screen appeared on my monitor. It stated that it was no longer recognizing my computer and it would be necessary to re-confirm my personal information. It wanted my social security number, mother’s maiden name, and pin number.
My arse! Was my first reaction. The credit card company (Chasse) was contacted immediately, and the nice little girl on the other end of the phone explained to me that due to tightened security measures they were asking for more information. I asked if we could have this screen bypassed as I was not comfortable typing this stuff on my computer. She dorked around for 45 minutes talking to supervisors, their supervisors, and eventually Lord Chase himself only to come back with the dreaded information that I was going to have to complete the form.
It turns out that the form was indeed a dummy, as when completed the account would still not grant me access. I ran a Malware scan and came up with no afflictions. I went to run my AVG anti-virus, and somehow it had been deleted from my machine. There was a Norton AV program that I didn’t remember, but figured what the heck and ran it instead.
Upon not finding anything Chase was called again. This time tech-support informed me that the screen was indeed a virus, that the virus had deleted my legitimate anti-virus and replaced it with a dummy shell of Norton that came up with the bogus “all clear” solution.
Now my social security number and mother’s maiden name are out there, along with the login, password and pin number for my $40K credit card. So the following things needed to be changed on every financial institution I deal with:
All accounts, numbers, passwords, security questions, pin numbers, and any reference to my social security number as identification.
NO MATTER HOW LEGITIMATE IT SEEMS, OR WHO TELLS YOU IT IS SAFE – NEVER GIVE ANYONE THIS INFORMATION AGAIN. A LEGITIMATE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR THIS ON LINE.
JUST DON’T DO IT!