Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
In the past, I wasn’t worried much about identity theft. I never in a million years thought it could happen to me….until it did. Twice. I’m living proof that identity theft is a real concern for everyone.
The first time it happened was in 2006. Thieves skimmed my debit card at a local gas station and withdrew $500 from bank account in a major city on the other side of the country. I was doing my online banking and noticed that there was a $500 withdrawal from my account. I asked my husband if he took out money without telling me. He said he didn’t and I knew that I didn’t take out any money. Right away I called my bank and they immediately cancelled my debit card. They said they would be launching an investigation and that they had other customers who had the same thing happen at the very same ATM. Thankfully, they reimbursed me for the $500 and gave me a new debit card, but the experience made me very uneasy. I watch cashiers like a hawk when they have my debit card or scan it myself in the machine.
It happened to me again just a couple months ago. This time around it was with my credit card. I noticed some charges I didn’t recognize on my statement and called my credit card company. Someone had made multiple purchases at a dating and music website, neither of which I have ever used. The credit card company cancelled my card and removed those transactions from my bill. I had to go through the hassle again of updating my credit card with the sites I pay for monthly for my blogging expenses. It was a big pain. Not only that, but I also felt very nervous using my credit card online.
My heart always skips a beat now when I check my bank and credit card statements. Since it happened to me twice, it’s always on the edge of my mind that it could happen again. I hope it never does, but in reality, identity theft is a big problem. Even just talking to a few close family members, I learned that most of them have been a victim one time or another.
It wasn’t a good experience being a victim of identity theft, but it certainly opened my eyes to reality. Not a pretty reality either….
My advice here as someone who has been a victim of identity theft is to not be complacent. Awareness is key. Make sure you know what is going on with your accounts and take steps to protect your identity.
Thankfully, there’s a site that can help. LifeLock offers complete Identity Theft Protection service and are relentless in keeping their members’ personal information safe. Right now, when you sign up for one of LifeLock’s plans you can save 10% with the promo code: LifeLockSecure. I encourage you to visit the LifeLock site and choose the protection that is right for you.
Have you ever been a victim of identity theft?