Tuesday, May 13

Take My Identity, Please!

So, last week I had my wallet stolen at the Rio Grande in Fort Collins. At first I thought perhaps I lost it and waited patiently for some kind soul to contact me, but then a $185 charge at the Rio posted and it became clear that the soul was not kind.

Of course, this debit charge posted before I was able to cancel my cards. I figured, it being a debit card, that I was responsible for the charge. Nope! The banker told me that half of what they do all day is handle unauthorized charges. If you've been over-charged, charged repeatedly for a one-time service like Internet at a hotel, or as with my case, had your card stolen, the bank handles it for you. They reimburse your money, then take it up with the vendor. Good to know!

But I also had my Social Security card in my wallet. Yes, I've been reminded repeatedly how stupid this is, but I had only recently put it in my wallet while filing taxes. In any case, the fellow (yes, i know it's sexist but I'm convinced it's a he) that charged $185 on my debit can assume my bad credited identity. Searching the Internet to see how best to protect yourself when you know someone has a hold of your SS# can be daunting. But again, the First National banker hooked a brother up. Here's the numbers to call if you suspect indentity theft:

Equifax: 800/525-6285
Experian: 888/397-3742
TransUnion: 800/680-7289

You can also call the Federal Trade Commission's hotline at 877/IDTHEFT.

No comments: