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The Reality of Identity Theft


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You must have heard at least a few stories about people who have had their identities stolen and you have also probably witnessed friends and relatives who seem to be constantly shredding all kinds of piece of paper, everybody has. If you have never been a victim of identity theft yourself, let me first of all congratulate you for being so lucky. Secondly, let me guess your thoughts about this issue: no one with any sense would want to steal your what is uniquely yours because you are not rich or important enough, and shredding is an excessively paranoiac and wasteful activity. Are you surprised how accurately I was able to read your mind? Don't be. I was merely recollecting my own thoughts about identity theft, until I too was victimized.

It all happened approximately five years ago when the one and only credit card in my possession at the time was up for renewal. Two days before the actual expiration date, I called the issuing bank to enquire why I hadn't yet received the replacement card. They assured me that it had gone out a few weeks ago. After verifying my mailing addressed, they concluded that it must have gotten lost in the mail and promised to send another one within the next couple of days. An entire week went by and I received no replacement credit card and I was forced to do something I hadn't done in years, to carry cash in my wallet. I waited two or three more days before calling the bank again. As before, they assured me that the card had been sent out and that I should have received it by now. At my own request, I was transferred to a supervisor who suggested that I verify with someone in my own household as significant charges had been made to both replacement credit cards.

It turns out that the first replacement credit card that was sent to me was canceled when I called to report that it hadn't arrived and the second one was canceled whilst I was on the phone with the supervisor. However, during the few short days between the bank's issuing the cards and my having reported them missing, a complete computer station was ordered, a hefty down payment was made on a luxury car, a few sizable purchases were made in several department stores, a living room set complete with a large television was paid for and a cruise to the Bahamas was booked for four adults. The sum total debt accrued to the credit cards I never received amounted to over $87,000. Ouch! But, believe it or not, I consider myself fortunate. Because I have had a longstanding relationship with the bank in question and due to my immaculate credit report, they had been willing to put this debt on hold for the time being. In other words, they haven't forgiven it per se, but, five years later, it is still pending investigation.

I am not sure whether I will be eventually forced to pay this debt off or not, but I can tell you without a moment of hesitation that identity theft is not merely a sensational story. It can happen to you as it happened to me and I am by no means a person of importance or wealth of any kind.

From Elliott P. Weynand; (For much more information about protecting yourself from Identity Theft, visit and claim your free video on protecting your identity!)


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