Beware of hacks

It’s taken me more time than I’d like to admit to clear out an identity theft.
It first struck on my Microsoft account then hit my Paypal & my Sam’s club.
Check your logins often and much. Keep upto date on security updates and patches.

An authenticator would have probably stopped these guys but that advice was given after the horses fled the barn.

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@aanden, I am sorry for your trouble: ID theft can become a nightmare, and unfortunately it is becoming more prevalent than most people know. Thanks for the advice.

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Happy Birthday @reynoso :champagne:

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Well thank you. That was unexpected! Was celebrating all day my 60th, and decided to drop in and see what was new.

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Whoops! Missed it by about an hour. Hope you had a good one! :grinning: :champagne: :birthday: :partying_face:

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@Jules, I really did! Different but definitely a great one. The original plan was canned early on because of you know who, but decided 2020 didn’t count, so will be celebrating big time next year. :joy:

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Thought we had an issue years ago when the wife was still working in a medical office environment.
Because they moved around, the ladies tended to leave their purse in a back break room. One day they noticed all their change purses were missing. Someone had snuck in and swiped them. That is where she had license, credit cards, checkbook, etc.
We spent the night trying to identify what cards were in her clutch and the next morning invalidating credit cards, the current batch of checks, etc, etc.
Long story shorter, it was a total PITA for several weeks and we continued to wait for the unwarranted debt bill from the stolen checks and card. Then we forgot about it.
About 5 years later (well after the wife had changed positions), some work was being done by the elevator in the building. They found the pile of stolen items in the drop ceiling and contacted everyone by the ID’s inside. Apparently, the thief was only interested in cash.
Lesson learned. Ever since, the wife keeps her purse purged of items not needed on a daily basis, instead of carrying every card she owned.

Anyway. Without having to clear debt, it was still a huge issue in our life. I can only imagine the added grief of erasing debts someone else amassed.
Life in an Internet world can be way more dangerous than a lost credit card. Debt can pile up at clickity click speed (1/100 light speed).

Hope it all stays cleared up.

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Just general advice - when it comes to online accounts that use financial data, use a unique password for each and every site.

It’s not as hard as it sounds.

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I totally agree, somehow they still got in.
Something else to watch like a hawk.
At least with the Sam’s Club they didn’t get any $
And Sam’s Club was the fastest to fix the hack.

As a former identity theft victim, it explains why I am super cautious online. For instance, nobody here knows when my birthday is (glad yours was happy though @reynoso!).

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I had that problem recently. I bought something online, and that site sold my info to a million different companies. Apparently among the sold info was my credit card number, so I had huge charges on my card from a company I never heard of. I filed a report witht the bank, filed an ID theft report, contacted the company making the charges, got their apologies, printed out the transcript (glad I did that).

Then after all that, the bank contacts me and says they found the company purchase amount was valid and that they weren’t refunding my money. So I had to go through an appeals process in which I submitted the transcript which that very same company admits someone made fraudulent purchases with my card.

But my last case before this was the credit reporting agency hack. My info was compromised…and someone used it to change my political party just before the 2018 primary election, and used the info to sign a bunch of petitions online I didn’t agree with. They didn’t do anything financially, but if I lived in any other state, I wouldn’t have been able to vote in my primaries. That hack took me months to work out, because my info was all over the place.

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Kind of along the same lines:
Many, many years ago (1970’s) when I was in my early 20’s I tried to cash a cheque (a good one I might add) but it was refused and I was told to contact a credit agency. Well, it turns out they had my information mixed up with another fellow who had the same first and last names but with a different middle name. I explained the situation and thought that would be the end of it. I was very wrong. I was hounded by collection agencies telling me I owed master card money. To this very day I have never owned a master card. I was denied bank loans and when I applied for my first ever credit card I was also denied. This all happened on the east coast and many (10 or 12) years later on the west coast I asked the bank for a $2500 loan. Denied! I had more than that in my account but it didn’t matter. Off I went to Equifax where they showed me the info they had on me and all that past crap was still there. All I could do was (and they gave me the keyboard) type in the explanation of how this all came to pass. Apparently nothing, even if it’s wrong, gets deleted. I must admit since then I have not had any more issues. I threatened legal action if it ever came up again but I don’t really think that was the reason things stopped. Maybe now they read the story and check social insurance numbers to verify they have the right or wrong person.

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A few months back I was getting random FedEx envelopes coming to the house with names I’d never heard before. I of course refused the delivery, but after 3 showed up in one day, I decided to hunt down what was going on. The culprit was someone had gotten access to my American Express account and added several users to the account. Fortunately for me, new cards could only be sent to the address on file. Got that fixed up before any further damage could be done, and before any purchases could be made.

When I worked at a bank, we constantly would see people fall for scams. It didn’t help that the community was full of older people and young college students. The two most prominent fraud cases were getting the person to send their bank login info, and the other was “being hired” by a random company. The latter would send them a large check as an “upfront” payment, then they would have to buy gift cards or money orders and send them back. When the check inevitably bounced, the fallout landed completely on the customer. So here’s a friendly reminder that if you’re not expecting money coming to you, especially through a check, be very cautious. If the check seems semi legit, you can go directly to the bank and have them put a long hold on the check, which will take some time to be verified and cleared before hitting your account. Also, don’t accept checks from strangers in exchange for cash now - those usually bounce, too.

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The only time I had the same name problem was at a video store. I tried renting a movie and the clerk, who was a classmate of mine, told me I owed money and that I had a bunch of movies out.

I told him I never rented anything there before. Apparently in the same town, there was someone with my exact name (thanks dad for such a generic name).

It was strange because no one in that area spells it the same way(which is why he didn’t believe me). Anyways, I asked him to check the age of the person, since he refused to believe me.

Turns out that person was about 20 years older than I was, so that got it straightened out, and I needed to add my middle initial to every account I opened in that town.

I’ve had to report several bits of wrong info on my credit report. In previous years, reporting did nothing. It stayed. But I found that since I filed the ID theft report, the things I’ve reported recently have finally been removed. Thank goodness, because it showed addresses around the country I’ve never lived in, and because of that, those security questions you get when you try to check your credit report, I kept getting them wrong.

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Oh one more story. After my wife and I moved to Hawaii, we had a friend who also wanted to make the move. We used to travel kind of frequently, so I made sure my friend had set his new address to here right away, to avoid any false fraud pings when he used his card. He called his bank and they said sure, let’s just verify your last few purchases. Immediately there were several hundred dollars purchases at some grocery stores in California a few hours prior that couldn’t be him, considering he just got on a plane in Vegas 6 hours before the call. I think it took like 4-6 weeks to get his money back, but luckily we caught them the same day. We concluded that this was one of those credit card skimming things, where either someone had copied his info through his bag (which is why the RFID wallets are so popular), or had a skimmer in one of the slot machines at the airport, much the same way this happens at ATMs and gas station pumps. Friendly reminder to always pull on the slot where you insert your card to see if someone has placed something over it to copy your info, or just go inside to pay.

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