4 Steps to Stop Identity Theft from Happening to You

Identity theft happens in many ways, I learned the hard way on how this happens. I have used a credit card safely on line for years, I knew how to be safe yet it still happened. All it takes is one time, and then you learn to be not so trusting.

Let my experience help you to get your money back quickly. When I noticed the theft on October 16, I got mad. On the next day, I followed the advice of friends and became the detective.

Cancel the Card

I realized the theft after I tried to pull off my house payment on October 16, 2011 and most of it was gone. After I realized the theft, I called and reported the card stolen. I also looked online at the transactions and realized some bum had used my card in three online places for five purchases.

What I did right is that I canceled the card as soon as possible. Look at the transactions and if they are not your purchases cancel the card right away.

Investigate Do not Assume

What I did wrong is accuse family members who I assumed had used the card. You know what they say about the word assume, and yeah I feel like one. Nevertheless, to me, at that time it was a logical choice.

I called the credit card company to see how I could get the money returned to my account. The representative was rude, hard to understand because of her accent and I felt that she was no help at all.

Be your own detective

Write down on a piece of paper, the dates, amounts and places the card was used. Make sure to leave enough space in between the transactions to make notes.

Next, look up the websites of where the card was used write their telephone number on your sheet of paper. Begin calling them to get the charges reversed and alert them of the fraud.

In my case, I called FTD florist first, as they were the first instance of fraud. I talked to a very nice woman who was very responsive to my needs. She got the charges refunded to my card and took a fraud statement. She also shared that a man named James had used my card to purchase flowers for some woman in California. I wrote down the jest of our conversation on my paper in the FTD section.

When I called Zoosk dating customer service I was a bit disappointed that I had to leave a voice mail for their customer service department. However, when they returned the call, I was in for a pleasant surprise. It is funny how much easier it is to talk with the companies where the theft occurred, than the credit card company was. Perhaps, I just got a bad representative of the credit card company.

Anyways, the man at Zoosk dating told me the card was used in the UK. He asked if I knew a man named James over there. The UK is thousands of miles away from where I live in the United States and I do not know a soul over there. My money for the dating subscription was returned. I wrote this one down on my paper.

I contacted Skype by email, as that is the online method if you do not have an account with them. They returned my email the next morning and gave me the user name associated with the theft. They are over in Luxembourg and are not able to refund to refund my money. They advised me to call the US credit card company and get it reversed.

I will need to contact my credit card company once more and I pray I get another person this time. I do feel comfortable with how my detective work has panned out.

Be proactive

If you are going to purchase anything online, go purchase a refillable card from Wal-mart. When you have an online purchase to complete, use this card. The cards have a MasterCard logo on them, and they are widely accepted around the nation.

If you use a regular credit or debit card check the balance every few days. Had I checked every few days, perhaps a few of these charges would not be on my card. Play it smart and do not allow a common thief take your hard-earned money.

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