When you’re shopping online or in person, you can’t be too careful. I’ll first discuss my experiences, then give you some information from some research that I’ve gathered (source references are at the end of this article).
In October 2005, USAA bank called me to say that there was activity with my debit card in Rumania. I told the rep that I have never been there. She cancelled the card and issued me a new one.
In December 2005, I stopped at a gas pump and tried to use my Chase credit card. It didn’t work, and when I got home to check, my account had been temporarily disabled because of some large purchases that had been made on the West Coast by someone—but it wasn’t me. These purchases caused my account to go over the limit. I was charged fees, and when I disputed the charges on the phone, I was told to sign a form indicating which exact charges I did and did not authorize.
In 2006, my company sent a letter to me saying that they had lost a disk that contained the sensitive information of their employees, their spouses and dependents. They offered me 6 months of free credit monitoring.
In April 2008, I logged onto two different bank accounts and discovered that a strange electronic check had cleared both accounts, although they used my old name and my old address. The banks were unable to trace the source, but I checked the company name online and found that this company was operating under a few different names (“Three, Inc.” and “DCL ENV, Inc.” ), running a scam. The bank required that I file a police report and close my account. It was resolved on my end in a matter of weeks, but to this day, I don’t know where the crooks got my information from, or whether they’ll ever be prosecuted. I documented this in a post at http://www.ripoffreport.com