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My Credit Card Information Was Stolen

2/2/2014 - Justin Brandon

Credit cards are the lifeline for many people in the world day.  Unfortunately, credit cards are also a prime target for identity thieves.  Thieves aren’t necessarily looking for the small scores these days, they are going after corporations and want as much data as they can get.  Target and Nieman Marcus are the latest victims of data privacy breaches. 

My credit card was stolen a few years ago.  It was a shock to the system and put me on edge for several days while I worked things out with my credit card company.  Luckily, I signed up for the credit card protection plan through my credit card company.  I received a call from them asking if I authorized to make a purchase at a furniture store for $1800 in Florida.  I reside in Colorado and they noticed that.  They then asked me if authorized a purchase at a gas station in Florida that same day,  obviously I hadn’t. 

What puzzled me is that I had my credit card in front of me and I kept asking myself how this could happen when I am actually holding my credit card.  While talking to the credit card company, I asked them how this could happen when I have my card in front of me.  It wasn’t lost or stolen,  it was in my hand!  They said the criminals some how got a hold of my credit card number and actually made a duplicate card with my number on it.  A store merchant confiscated my card after I informed the credit card that the purchases were not made by me. 

There were many hassles associated with this fraud.  I had to get a new a credit card number.  For all of the recurring bills I pay with the card, I had to change them to the new number.  I had to pull my credit reports (which you should do at least twice a year) and look them over.  I reviewed my bank account statements to make sure everything looked good. 

Doing these things made me realize that I needed to be more careful about how I use my credit card.  I no longer buy things online unless it is a merchant that I fully trust.  I use more cash than I have in the past and  I shred junk mail instead of one rip and tossing it in the trash can. 

I also solicited the services of LifeLock to help protect a situation like this in the future.  The LifeLock service helps monitor my bank accounts, my credit reports, and reduces the amount of junk mail I receive.  This service has helped me sleep better at night knowing that I have a second pair of eyes monitoring my identity.  LifeLock is not the only player in the industry and I encourage people to do some research and look at letting a identity protection company assist you in monitoring your personal information.

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