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Stolen Identity

I don't know when it happened, but the most important question is - how it happened.

Recently, I've become a victim of stolen identity and credit card fraud. Out-of-the-blue, my credit card company calls me at 9 PM alerting me that someone's shopping with my card in wonderful Deutschland. I laughed at it first, and told the operator how could I be shopping in Europe while I'm right here in my living room watching TV. Then it finally dawned on me, oh my gosh, this is serious. Suddenly, panic and hysteria hit me at once. I asked the operator how did this happened? The operator said the criminal or stinkin' low life could have taken my info online or some other means, but most likely online. Could it be from my blog? My social networks? I couldn't think much less breathe.

I am so thankful that my credit card company caught the unusual activity and alerted me right away; I know He was watching over me too. The fraudulent purchase didn't go through, and that my people, yes, I have people, are now watching. When I hanged up the phone that night, I had to question how safe are we really online. The online world has taken bounds and leaps with regards to information dissemination as far as education, communication and research are concerned, but as we enjoy the fruits of such technology, we should never forget that the online world has its own criminals that surf among us - just as the physical world that we walk on. The only difference is, online crimes are much sophisticated and harder to track, but it doesn't mean that they can't be prosecuted. Here's what I believe - Crime always pays. It doesn't have to be this life, but criminals will answer their crimes to a higher authority.

I am obviously upset and angry about this even to the point of even curtailing my online activities. But the point of this post is to remind everyone to be safe online and to be careful with what information we post even our personal photos (yes, even photos are being used for scamming) because anyone can manipulate and use them against us.

Be safe everyone!

Comments

  1. oh no! it's a good thing credit card companies actually monitor our purchases and notify us when they see something suspicious. it's scary what these hackers can do to our protected information.

    i'm glad it's all taken care of.

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  2. Fortuitous faery, This experience really turned me into a paranoid person. I'm hoping this paranoia won't last for long, but yes, I am thankful this was caught and that I was alerted.

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  3. My brother-in-law is not so praning after all. I guess he really has a reason to be a little careful online.

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  4. scary...i hope that person gets punished...however are you sure that the person called you is from your credit card company?if they asked for your personal details then it might be a voice fishing scam ( we get lots of call like that here in korea...unfortunately for them i'm not easy to fool...kkkk...because they have to talk to me in english)anway, i hope you're ok

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  5. i really appreciate the vigilance of credit card companies nowadays. i've been alerted once too when we went in canada and i started charging. then i got a note to call the card company. i called and assured them that i was in canada shopping :)

    my husband calls the credit card company before every travel to tell them exactly where the card will be used, he has this thing that the card can only be used around this area or something, ewan ko ba.

    we all have to be extra careful.

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  6. I'm glad they alerted you before something bad could happen. I worked as a fraud analyst for a bank before, so I have an idea how ugly it could get. So you think they hacked your info online? Just like you, now I'm scared to make purchases online no matter how secure they say they are... I hope you feel better now.

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  7. Yikes! That is indeed scary. Good thing your credit card company was on alert and informed you right away. That's what I call good service. Just be vigilant next time you purchase anything online.

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  8. i can imagine the paranoia you are experiencing now. i hope it passes soon and this never happens again to you.

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  9. Identity theft can occur anywhere. I've seen news reports where thieves will use some kind of strip in and put it in place of the normal strip on ATM machines so they can get your pin number. There's also the salespeople/cashiers who swipe your card. They can see your card no and expiration date, too. And then there's dumpster divers, etc. The list goes on.

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  10. did you ever put your card numbers online? how could have it happened?
    this is why i never put my personal infos on my blog or other networking sites. this is really no good news...

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  11. Betchay, I'm now praning...lol.

    Cher, When I got the call, all they told me was to call the fraud dept. of the credit card company, which I have at the back of my card, so no information was given.

    Photo Cache, Yes, that's what I do too, I call them and tell them where I'm going. This is actually how they caught the fraudulent purchases.

    Bittersweet, Yes, they hacked my info online, that's what they told me. Actually, a few stores in the area where I live got their system hacked, and I did a purchase on one of them. I have to tell you, I feel emotionally violated.

    Daphne, Yes, I'm lucky, but I keep thinking what if they didn't caught it on time. It is indeed good service.

    Mordsith, I too hope this paranoia goes away soon.

    Ping-I, I agree. They can steal your cc number in a lot of ways. I guess the only way to be very vigilant about this is to watch bank statements and always check for purchases you haven't made.

    Artemis, The only times I've put my cc number online was when making purchases, but now it tells me that isn't safe at all these days.

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  12. hi bloghopping from witsandnuts...

    that is not good. my officemate also had that experience and the bad thing was that the culprit was her roommate.

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  13. OMG!!katakot nga. Thanks for sharing this Kayni. It made me more aware regadring this matter.

    Glad the purchase that person did didn't go through, thank GOD!

    So have a restful weekend Kayni!

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  14. sigh, why there's always a consequence whenever we're being upgraded? i mean, take a look at our world right now. we can have online shopping but it doesnt mean a gurantee that your CC is protected. why are there some people who can't understand that we work harder for the money yet they steal so easily?

    be careful in doing your online transactions, kayni! :)

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  15. That's terrible. Good thing the problem was detected early. We hear/read about identity theft but the lesson really hits home if it happens to someone you know.

    The closest thing to an identity theft that happened to me would be someone sending me spam mail using my own email address. From what I read, they haven't actually hacked into my account so they're not sending said spam to others using my email (that's my hope anyway).

    You're right about being very careful online. The scary thing is that those thieves are smarter than us :-(

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  16. scary! but glad to hear that it's all taken care of. we all should take extra care.

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  17. That happened to a friend, too. How could she be buying from the US while we were in UAE (on a bowling). Nakakapanic talaga. Kudos to organizations which have effecient and effective risk management system. We really need to be cautious with our online (and offline) activities.

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  18. OMG, that's awful! I hope you got things sorted.

    Another great reason for me never to get a credit card!

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  19. I think, the risk is accompanied by the development of technology. But it is inevitable.

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  20. gosh! this is scary.. well there was a warning in german television a few months ago of some people stealing information via email accounts. the television show said there were millions of emails from germany that could be in danger.

    so after that show my husband got an email from them telling him that his email account, password and so were found in china! i think they even had the username from ebay/amazon but just the wrong password. so if they get the password to your email then they can access your accounts, numbers and all...

    one solution is to never have the same passwords to your different online accounts and use different emails maybe and make complicated passwords!

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  21. My goodness, that's really bad... take care though kayni. yes, they're gonna pay...

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  22. Hi Kayni! Thank you for sharing. A lot of people will learn from this. We've always been careful and never succumbed to those online payments. Still one can never be careful enough and with the mounting CC fraud here we opted to live credit-card free these days.

    Ceasar is also sending his love and regards and kisses from Andreas.

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  23. I know how you must feel as the same thing happened to my husband not so long ago... It's true, we must be vigilant and careful of what exactly we put out there in cyberspace.... Hugs, xx

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  24. oh my gosh, that was scary. glad the thief didnt get a dime out of his attempt. shucks.

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  25. I was just watching about this on "COPS" days ago. Though I know that the bank is tracking my activities, I still make sure that I check my transactions once in a while on my own. It's scary. :(

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  26. So that's the reason why I haven't seen you on line blogging for weeks~! it must be hard being in that state. I hope you can get over it and the person behind it would pay.

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  27. oh no! i am scared! i never really thought these things could happen in reality. i thought it only happened in movies.

    i'm glad everything's okay now at your end. be safe you too.

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  28. This is a very disturbing thing to happen to anyone. Hope you don't give in to this and get paranoid. I have posted and linked it so that it may get further coverage. Crime succeeds when people remain silent about being victims. The banks et al would have us believe that credit card fraud is a victimless crime; bollix to that. You know it.
    Well done you Kayni. Excellent post.

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  29. Hello Everyone, Thank you so much for the overwhelming support. I am doing well, but still a bit paranoid...but will surely get over this.

    Unstranger, Yes, information is the key. Thank you for the link. It will surely help someone somewhere.

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  30. ouch, that's tough. my sister had this problem once, too, but she was able to clear things up eventually. what pissed her off was all the efforts she had to expend to make things right. me, i use my card sparingly for online transactions. i'm glad to know weren't ripped off, though. ingat lang lagi :)

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  31. uy,....scary yan! ako nga id lang ang mawal, i panic. just think of what the person can do with it! he can commit a crime using my id! too much movies ba? but it's really a scary thought!

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