Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Identity Theft - Up Close and Personal

It finally happened to me.... I logged on to Home Banking last Monday and discovered five checks written against my account.

Over the course of my career, I must have written, talked about or advertised over 1,000 pieces on Identity Theft and now I tackle the subject with a whole new vigor.

It started with our mail being stolen when we moved in July. Now I am dealing with closing accounts, signing affidavits, filling out police reports, alerting the credit bureaus. I almost titled this post "I Hate Thieves" but I thought that would be too harsh (that and I doubt I know any thieves personally). I thought about "I Hate Theft" or "I Hate Paperwork" but then I decided to turn that frown upside down and look at the bright side.

Is there a bright side to fraud? Well, no not really. But I can say one good thing... Verity Credit Union takes fraud personally. That might sound funny, but it is true.

When I called to report the checks, Veniacha Sims and Sarah Riddle helped me. You would think that it was their own personal mission to catch "this creep" as they called him/her. That felt really good. I called the other institution that I deal with and they dealt with it more like an everyday occurrence. Which makes some sense. To them, it is probably just the cost of doing business. But Verity Credit Union has been the credit union for Federal Employees for so long that we are not used to people stealing from us. And when they do, we take it personally. Monday morning, when I was on the phone, freaking out about the $1500 drained from my account, it felt good to have someone as indignant and ticked off as me. It also felt good to talk to someone immediately who could tell me exactly what to do.

There isn't really anything good about theft, but there is something nice in having an advocate when it happens to you.

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