||identity theft warning
Joined: May 12, 2003
|Posted: 2006-01-28 10:03 am  Permalink|
Yeeeikes. I need to change some passwords... When I was in college someone stole my new checks from the mailbox, and starting writing checks for hundreds of $$ at mail order places. I never had any money and usually had a balance of about $2.37 in my account, so when I started getting bounced check notices for $1200 and $900 purchases, the first thing I thought was "did I go shopping drunk again?" (that's what I really thought, for a second) And then I realized I did not buy 4 pairs of cowboy boots. I called the bank and they dealt with it. The crazy thing is, that the next week I got my student loan check and if it had been in the account at the time the checks would have cleared, which would have made the whole thing a HUGE nightmare. I got a few calls from the collection agency that the place that took the check hired, and told them the bank claim, police report # and told them they should maybe tell their client not to take checks without ID or at least not ship merchandise until the check clears.
"You're the mayor of shark city, people think you want the beaches open."
Joined: Nov 20, 2003
From: Central Coast of California
|Posted: 2006-01-28 5:44 pm  Permalink|
On 2006-01-28 08:52, Jungle Trader wrote:
You can buy special ink pens that prevent check washing.
Thanks for the reminder about those pens. I do use them and will continue to do so. But in my case they took the routing number of the bank and my account number and made their own checks... that's what really scared the crapola out of me. The banks use a new system in which businesses can scan a check and do an electronic withdrawal so they don't have to deal with the paper trail/transfer. It is up to the individual accepting the check to catch the fraud or counterfeit check in this process.
Jab, I don't know what I would've done if my bank didn't come through. They originally told me they had to hold the funds for 10 days while under investigation, but the head bank manager is a customer of mine and she pulled rank for me. Otherwise I would've really been screwed. I agree with Wells Fargo being evil, I also learned the hard way with them a few years ago. I now only bank locally. I think a quick call to the District Attorneys Office might light a fire under them. San Luis Obispo's District Attorney's Office has a special department for bad checks and credit card fraud, I would think such a thing exists in the Bay Area as well.
In the horrible event this happens to anyone, here is a resource guide.
Most states have made it possible for you to view your credit report for free annually. The Federal Trade Commission has a web site link that you can obtain copies from the 3 credit companies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It is recommended that you review your credit report for inaccuracies and unauthorized activity. You will not be able to see your "credit score" without paying extra, but you can see what accounts are opened in your name.
If there is questionable activity, you can put a fraud alert on your credit reports for no charge for 3 months. They will also try to get you to buy a paid service in which you can review it monthly to watch for fraud.
here is the link to the legal rights for identity theft victims (downloadable pdf file)
Joined: Feb 01, 2005
|Posted: 2006-02-03 11:31 am  Permalink|
Wow, thejab, that totally sucks. I used to bank at Wells Fargo, and I got a little jerked around too, not on something so serious thankfully, but I started using credit unions 10 years ago, and I'll never go back!
I think I have some passwords to go change. Also, I think that whenever possible, it's safer to use a credit card for all your daily transactions, and then pay off that credit card each month using your checking account. I think it would sort of reduce the visibility of your checking account, and all credit card companies now pretty much guarantee you won't be liable for fraudulent charges.
Citibank even does this thing where you get a "virtual" credit card number for shoppping online. They issue you a temporary account number for use online, that when used, equates back to your actual account. The virtual account is only live for a little while, so even if it gets intercepted, it won't be any good later on, and your real account number is protected.