Financial Woes

I had a completely different post planned for today, but something happened that is preventing me from thinking of much else: my identity has been stolen. I found out today because I have credit monitoring and was notified when both Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile ran checks on my credit. I have my cell phone through AT&T and have been with them since I was 18; I haven’t even looked around at other cell providers, so I knew something was amiss. I was on the phone with Verizon, who were useless and tried to convince me that my credit had not been ran by them, when I got a call on the other line from a Verizon store somewhere in Florida telling me I was approved for the iPhones I had ordered and would be called when they come in. I let the guy know I’m in South Carolina and was not just in his store. He told me that someone had an ID with my name and address, and was using my social security number and date of birth. I freaked out and didn’t ask him questions I should have. I tried to call the number back, but my only options after calling were to listen to the store hours, or be directed to Verizon’s general customer service number.

I called the three major credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on my credit. I plan to actually freeze my credit because I won’t be buying anything in the near future that needs it. This whole situation is scary and annoying. I don’t know what else I can do about it. I tried to call the sheriff’s department in the city in Florida I got a call from, and they told me I would need to file a police report in my own county and state. This is frustrating because I don’t know who to file a police report against. Nothing has been bought with my credit yet, and no new lines have been opened, so I don’t even know what I’d write on a police report. Sigh. Does anyone have experience with this? Do you have advice?

I called my bank, and they said the best they can do is freeze my accounts, but that would prevent me from using them. Freezing bank accounts is more of a temporary thing; the idea is that I’d sort out my theft, and then unfreeze my accounts. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the person or people stealing from me, and he hasn’t actually stolen anything yet, so I worry freezing my bank accounts would be premature. I don’t want to freeze them indefinitely. I need to be able to get food and gas and pay my bills. I changed my bank alerts so I’ll know if $100 or more is debited from one of my accounts. It won’t prevent the theft, but it’ll help me catch it early (maybe even immediately), so I can work with my bank in getting any lost money back.

I’m going to be watching my credit and bank accounts like a hawk for the next few days, weeks, and months. I hope I don’t have anymore issues.

I’ll post something fun soon.

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