Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yikes! Identity Theft!

I have always secretly judged people whose identities get stolen. Those people, I decided, were the ones who left passwords taped to their monitors or did banking on public computers. Turns out I was secretly throwing stones from a glass house!

This morning at 8am I got a call from Chase. They usually call me when I am on vacation. Actually, I kind of love them because as soon as I make a purchase somewhere other than Pittsburgh, the phone rings. "No, no," I tell them. "It's me! I'm just here buying museum tickets in Chicago because I am glamorous!" Not today.

This morning, the charges were for things like porn in California. Or several small charges to iTunes. It all got very confusing because I use the card a lot and have been doing a lot of Christmas shopping. Turns out the last time I actually used the card was for a purchase on Amazon. I usually love Amazon, but now hate them.

I suspect Amazon of compromising my identity not only because they were the last place I used the card, but also because of the spam email I now get. My brother-in-law taught me to use a different email address with each company. (I can do this because I have my own domain name) So when I bought my Amazon supplies, I used amazon@myemailaddress.com. Shortly after this fraud call, I checked my mail and had zillions of junk emails in my account using the Amazon email.

Since my Amazon purchase was for a used book through their marketplace, I first suspected the sellers. But then I read Amazon's information about financial transactions and realized they must be the culprit. They have a system where I pay Amazon and Amazon pays the book seller, so the leaky information came straight from the big evil corporation. Not from the little book seller. I feel significantly shaken up to stop online shopping for a bit until I can find some really secure methods. Clearly, Amazon does not have these and will no longer be enjoying my business.

I guess identity theft has become so standard that the Chase people really didn't need to involve me in the process much. I just said I didn't make the charges, they canceled my account and are mailing me forms to sign, plus a new card. Only because my credit card company is so on top of things was this a minor inconvenience instead of a huge disaster. I just hope my Southwest flight credits carry over to this new account!

5 comments:

Jane said...

Get a virtual account for online purchases. It is the only way to go.

Katy said...

what is this virtual account?? is it a universal thing? is it like an orange savings account, which i have? tell more, jane! tell more!

Em said...

That's a shame, b/c I've found little to complain about regarding Amazon.

Valtastic said...

Em your living under a rug.. Amazon is horrible... I bought a cell phone from them... two months after the cell phone was purchased they charged me with a $250 warranty that I never wanted (the phone was $0 after rebate why would I buy a warranty?)... I had to fight with three levels at Amazon to get the charge reversed... since then I've boycotted Amazon... Shop Barnes and Noble!

Emily said...

wow. that a pain... :(