My Online Identity Theft Experience

F_ID-Theft-onlineOnline identity theft is a huge deal. It’s something that happens everyday, all around the world and something I was never fully aware of until I got older. Did you know that online identity theft is the UK’s fastest growing avenue used to carry out criminal activity? Yeah, neither did I. That alone is pretty terrifying if you take a moment to think about it.

There are so many ways we put ourselves at risk to falling at the knees of an identity thief. Whether we decide to not shred our paper documents before separating them into individual bin bags, or whether we don’t use effective and trusted online security systems when doing some online banking on our home computer. The lengths some criminals will go to to seek out, track and steal your online information is astonishing. I was asked by My Voucher Code to share my story…

Have I ever been a victim {does anyone else hate that word?} of identity theft? Yes I have. Twice! I don’t quite know how it all came about {the first time} as I thought {used the word ‘thought’ there} I was pretty protected when using my online banking service. So maybe me not having the most up to date firewall, online hacker prevention software put me into the ‘prey’ box this time. But either way, the thieves got what they wanted, my money. Thankfully I didn’t have a massive amount of money in my account but they did manage to clean me out and buy themselves a few nice things.
11514588-how-can-prevent-online-identity-theftHow did I realize? I tried using my card in an ATM and the machine kept the card as it flew up a red flag and advised me to contact my bank. I did, they asked their security questions as they usually do and when asked if I’d ever spent $250 on Sunglasseshot.com it immediately threw up a red flag for me. No, I replied. Again I was asked if I had ever spent $125 on another company and the list carried on. What do you ever do when something like this happens other than worry about paying your own bills, putting food on the table and being able to feed your children. It’s scary. I was scared and furious all rolled into one.

I just had to go through the regular fraudulent activity channels and hope that my money would get returned. It never did. But I changed everything from my passwords, security program, bank details and more.

The second time I experienced online identity theft was via my ebay account and me being me, I didn’t even notice before I paid for my products. Which where just lots of little bits and pieces for my sons birthday party {themed party favours etc – but still!}. About £40 was spent on birthday bits and when a fortnight passed I did a bit of researching. I was shocked when I realised someone had clearly accessed my ebay account and managed to change my home address to somewhere in London, postcode and all.
So I totally google earthed their address, which I know is a bit creepy, but I needed to see it. I needed to see the place where my sons party things where getting delivered too and I was hoping so badly that they’d be disppointed that I didn’t buy something more fancy and expensive for them to sell on.

No money was returned on that experience either. But the money didn’t matter, it was the principle of it all. How dare these thugs steal from me and disrupt my sons birthday party. Mama bear mode really got plucked with that experience I can tell you.

Have you ever been unlucky enough to experience online identity theft? 

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4 Comments

  1. 28/08/2015 / 4:35 PM

    Yikes! What a nightmare. I can’t imagine how scary that must be. It’s frustrating that you couldn’t get clear advice to explain how it happened or how to prevent it. You think it happened by someone intercepting your transactions through your network? Yikes. I haven’t ever used a firewall.

  2. 28/08/2015 / 7:09 PM

    Oh no! It’s awful isn’t it….I had my card details stolen. They started taking little amounts gradually getting bigger. I luckily got all of my money back within a week but it leaves you feeling horrible doesn’t it x

  3. Michelle
    29/08/2015 / 1:50 PM

    While I haven’t been a victim of identity theft, I have been scammed before into giving my account number because I thought I was getting paid. I will never do that again! It’s scary to think these people are out there and willing to steal anything from anyone. Online anonymity is both a benefit and a loss as anyone from anywhere in the world can do this sort of thing and the odds of them getting caught is very slim because the internet almost guarantees their safety. Sorry this happened to you. Thanks for sharing. This reminds me to try to be more careful online now.

  4. 29/08/2015 / 6:28 PM

    How awful for you, this sort of thing makes me so mad. It did happen to me once, years ago. I hadn’t been to the bank so didn’t notice, but when I logged onto Paypal, £400 had been spent in Luxembourg! I nearly had a heart attack! Thankfully I got it back – when I contacted Paypal they said they’d noticed a few days earlier and were already arranging a refund…they could have had the decency to tell me!

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