May Identity Thieves Burn in Hell

May Identity Thieves Burn in Hell

It’s probably happened to you. Some lowlife out there managed to rip your credit card or debit card — or both. With luck, you discovered it on your own because you have alerts sent to you every time you make a transaction. (You do have that in place, right?) Or maybe you just have a good bank and the bank discovered the potential rip.

Well, my cards have been zapped maybe eight times in the last 10 years. About eight days ago, it was my debit card. Of course, every time this happens you have to wait for a replacement card and then make sure you sync them to any online merchants or sources who draw on them. Royal pain in the arse.

But the real rip is in actual identity theft, and it happened to me when my husband and I filed our taxes this year — only to have our online submission rejected because someone had already requested a refund with my Social Security number. The irony? We OWED the IRS money.

I hoped it was an oversight and someone just transposed numbers and inadvertently came up with mine. Nope. The IRS said it was intentional, and the individual had actually requested thousands of dollars in a refund using an EZ form. We haven’t been in a position to use an EZ form since our college days.

Not being someone who wished to wind up on a tragic 60 Minutes story some day about the agony of identity theft, I immediately began making calls: All three credit bureaus to put blocks on my account; calling the Social Security Office based on the IRS’ recommendation — a recommendation the Social Security person said she wished the IRS would stop doing because they don’t even make a log of the call.

There were others, of course, and the process is lengthy and painstaking. Oh, and I even paid something like $100 for Experian to keep a very close eye on my account, giving me daily access to my activity if I so choose.

South Florida is known to be a particular hotbed for credit card fraud and identity theft. Rings of thieves word in tandem to get information however it is that they do, sell lists of card numbers and then get out of Dodge before they’re discovered. It happens all over the country, though. The debit card guy I talked to so that I could activate my new card after the most recent transgression had also been the victim of identity theft. Even three years later he’s not comfortable that he’s secure, and he did all the same things I did in following up.

I have five words for the morons who rip cards and identity: “May You Burn in Hell.” I am going to sic Claudia on them.

Has this happened to you, too? Let me know. I hate feeling like I’m alone out there.