Monday, January 23, 2012


Awhile back I posted about one of our credit cards getting hacked. Luckily the credit card company caught it right away and all was well with the world. Since that happened to us, I can't believe how often I've talked to other people with similar or much worse experiences. Recently I talked to someone who went to a wedding out of town, and all the wedding guests who stayed at the same hotel were victims of credit card fraud. Another friend's bank account was compromised. Obviously there are a lot of people who are up to no good, pulling these stunts. Do they think that since the banks and credit card companies are insured, it's no big deal? Do they think it's not "really" theft if the victim is able to recover her funds? But someone is paying - everybody - with higher fees, not to mention the time lost to straightening out these debacles. And stealing is stealing. Unless the thieves are using the stolen funds to feed starving children or provide shelter to the homeless, the Robin Hood defense is out the window. Besides, what I'm pretty sure they're actually doing is treating 20 of their closest friends to unlimited drinks at Applebee's and going on fantasy shopping sprees via the Home Shopping Network.

It's easy to roll my eyes at my mom when she hesitates to enter her credit card  number, or other personal information, online. But truthfully, she has good reason to be nervous about it. Within the past few months, I've received notifications from at least two online retailers letting me know that their accounts were hacked and my information may be in the wrong hands. So far, so good, but the possibilities for fraud are endless in the digital world that we live in today. Even scarier than credit card fraud, the possibility of identity theft is really freaky. Someone pretending to me, applying for loans under my name, using phony identification with my name on it; well it's so creepy it may as well be an episode of the Twilight Zone. You can't be too careful nowadays. Using a company such as IdentityHawk to provide identity theft protection is probably a good idea. Consider protecting yourself before you have a problem.

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