Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for several days. Not the classic, but the George Harrison version. The title is all that’s particularly applicable to me right now, but it’s still a good song.

One day last week as we were set to travel,  I woke to unauthorized credit card activity.  I was fortunate to discover the issue quickly when Costco sent me an email cheerfully alerting me that $800.00 in goods would be arriving that day. Not to my address, of course, but to someone in Ontario, California named Thomas Hines. Thomas was receiving a very expensive gift courtesy of my unauthorized generosity.

What a day to jump into the fray, but I’ve untangled these messes before. Hasn’t everyone?

Two years ago someone hijacked my eBay account and ordered heavy winter clothing and had it shipped to Russia. On top of the headache of establishing that these weren’t my charges, all of my on-line information had been changed to Russian. It took a long time to even figure out how to close the account.

So the song.

My attention has been entirely split. Online fraud is a devil we live with, and while monitoring my email and involved sites over several days, we also had the awesome privilege of spending time with family, sharing the sights of a beautiful city.

The photos contain strong hints about our whereabouts. I’ll return to share more about our travels after my focus returns.

 

We are home now, and as I continue to change all of my passwords and also investigate and report all the crazy activity–the phishing expedition resulted in signing me up for hundreds of newsletters and sites, from porn to religious societies–I think I’m more or less in the clear.

Have you experienced any form of identity theft? What security measures have you put into place as a result?

Believe me, I think if I could find a way to take all of my personal information off the web I’d do that and go back to the way it all was when we just wrote checks and relied on snail mail.

But I think that ship has probably sailed.

The good news? The credit card agencies and all support services have been very helpful. It’s a new year. Consider changing your passwords. Mine are now so complex I’m going to have a hard time remembering them myself.

Stay tuned!