Identity Theft

Identity TheftI am a victim of identity theft.

I consider myself a rather web-savvy individual. I'm very careful with the details I publish on this site and others and I never divulge information that could pose a security hazard. I'm not afraid to make credit card purchases over the web, but I'll only do so with reputable vendors I know and trust. I use common sense and trust my instincts.

Our Visa bill arrived in the mail today. There were three charges to companies in Texas and Australia totalling over $450 that neither one of us authorized. We're rather predictable spenders, and these charges stuck out like a sore thumb on a statement filled with Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Esso and Zellers transactions.

Over a decade of good behaviour paid off and Visa agreed the charges were suspect and advised me I was a victim of identity theft. Somebody had got a hold of my credit card number and used it for unknown services. My card has been cancelled and the charges have been reversed but I'm left wondering where I went wrong.

I often see pieces of spam in my bulk mailbox that are designed to resemble popular bank websites. I often wonder who gets such an email and complies with the request for bank account numbers and other personal data. I know enough never to give out that kind of info in an email, but I'm the guy who was a victim of fraud last week. Are any of us safe? Are you?

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