Tag Archives: Identity theft

Part 3: Now I am afraid of banks; my own, changing to a new one, the whole shot

I realize now how gun-shy I have become.

It is really getting easier and easier to visualize my Grandma stuffing bills in her cotton mattress and making the bed up with canvas so she can lace the thing shut in case of attack.  In the usual “wake up and face life’s terrors at 3:00 AM mode that besets many after the age of child bearing” it seemed more and more of an option to bury rounds of currency in coffee cans somewhere in the yard.  No, my street address is not available on my website.

After my recent identity theft scare ( see  last two blogs things started to heat up a bit.
One of the accounts that might have been compromised has several thousands of dollars sitting in an investment account that is at present earning less than 1%APR. That’s not that uncommon, but there are accounts that produce more.  One such account, a highly regarded national brand, sent me an ad in the mail for just such an account.  Or did they?

How can I trust the logo on the envelope?  Forgers are getting so good (the fake McAfee scan on my computer freaked me out) that I don’t believe it.  I want to, but jeez!  Major financial institutions are not exempt from fraud.  What if they forged the Amex pre-paid postage logo in the upper right corner.  How would I know?

I tried all the standard safeguards, logged on through the AMEX homepage, used the URL they supplied in their letter but then a couple of the subgroups started with “ibanking” instead of AMEX.

Are the hackers still in my computer re-directing me to a bogus site so they can get me to transfer money into it?  It didn’t do me any good to call Chase when there happened to be a red flag with them so what makes me think the phone is safe.

I sent up my credit fraud alert with Equifax, but then they wanted a bunch of my security information over the phone too.  Is my phone tapped?

Are the North Koreans hacking into our financial systems so they can siphon off what money they can only to then turn our monetary system on its end by sending an electromagnetic pulse into the mainframes on wall street causing a financial catastrophe even the “W” administration couldn’t try to bail out?   (He DID start that boondoggle by the way, and then left “Hussein” holding the bag).

If I hadn’t gained so much weight over the holidays I would be tempted to start drinking heavily so I wouldn’t wake up at 3:00AM with these thoughts.  In the mean time, I think it’s time to grab the shovel!


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I like to think of myself as a fairly bright guy; been around for a while, seen a few things, fairly good with technology, reasonably street smart, those sorts of things.

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.





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