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In response to a prompt from Plinky asking, “Have you ever had something stolen from you?”

Yes, I’m a victim of credit card theft. It was quite a few years ago, but my credit card company had called me to question some charges on my card. They suspected someone had my credit card numbers and went on a spending spree. They were right. Someone had stolen my credit card numbers. I’m careful about how I handle my cards, or so I thought. I did some backtracking and came up with two ideas about how and where this could have happened. Honestly, there is no way of knowing for sure. The charges racked up to about $10,000. I asked if they could tell me where some of the charges took place. She mentioned a couple places in Pennsylvania. Hold on a minute, I live in Michigan and hadn’t been to PA in a lot of years.

A few years ago my son had his bank account number stolen. Too bad he was on vacation in Hawaii when he learned of this. His bank couldn’t get a hold of him by phone, so they froze his account when they realized some charges were in Hawaii and some were in Utah, all at the same time. So, this meant when my son and daughter-in-law tried to use their check cards in Hawaii, they were rejected. When they called the bank they found out what had happened. The bank told them they would unfreeze the account long enough for them to go to an ATM and get cash to get them through their vacation and until they came home. During those few minutes of their account being opened, other withdrawals started happening while my son was at the ATM, on the phone with the bank. Thankfully, someone was smart enough to realize it was impossible to be in Utah and Hawaii at the same time. It was a big hassle for them to get everything straightened out with a new account, not to mention waiting for new cards and a new bank account.

Guess what? A couple days ago my bank notified me, saying my card company said some of their card numbers were comprised, and my card was one of them. Come on, not again! So far, none of their compromised accounts had any charges made on their cards, so this is a safety measure to ensure it didn’t happen in the future. They’re issuing me a new card. Oh joy!

In this time of bill paying online, do you have any idea the changes that will have to be made to change my card on my bill paying sites? I’m okay with it all, though. I prefer my bank does this instead of taking the risk of having someone steal my information, not to mention drain my bank account. I’m considering using a check for everything instead of going through this again, but is any of it really safe?  How do we remain safe in this day and age? My bank recently started using a company similar to Life Lock. Is that how they found the compromise? Who knows? I’m happy they found it before any charges were made. We need to be safe when it comes to our credit. Continue to be smart about how you use your person information. Learn what you can to protect yourself.