Got some cool mail today. Real cool mail. It starts out kind of exciting, right? Like, it's almost like the hacker TARGETED ME SPECIFICALLY. If this was a movie, I would drop the letter, look into the distance, my eyes narrowing, and say, barely audible: "Mike Dang."
My mom has had problems with money for as long as I’ve been alive. Growing up, it was common to see my mother go on shopping sprees, and then hide the bags in her closet before my dad got home. The closest we ever came to discussing the event that began my descent into mountains of credit card debt was her quietly saying over the phone, "I’m sorry I ruined your credit score."
I called Barclays and the representative told me that I have a $6,000 balance on a credit card, and then I discovered my mother opened this credit card without my knowledge.
Why you'd do this: Because responsible grown ups check their credit reports to make sure that the financial identities that exists for their names and social security numbers is the same one that exists in their hearts and minds.
A woman named Olga had her purse stolen at a Starbucks and immediately contacted her bank and credit card companies to cancel her cards and report the theft. Even so, the thief was able to withdraw money from her new accounts a month later by walking into a bank and using Olga's driver's license and social security card (I used to carry my social security card in my wallet too—until I realized that there really is no good reason to have it on you at all times.) Even with the I.D., the thief would need to know Olga's PIN to withdraw money, but could have possibly sidestepped that by correctly answering security questions. It's kind of mind-boggling that someone could walk in a bank with someone else's I.D. and walk out moments later with that person's money.