Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Protecting Yourself from Fraud

A month or so ago we received a letter from my husband's company stating that his, and other employees', social security numbers were in a computer that had been stolen. Isn't that wonderful? Yeah, that's just what we thought. We signed up right away with a company that will monitor our accounts for activity and we thought all was well.

Today my hubby received THREE e-mails from a wire transfer company stating that they cannot complete his wire transfer without more information. I e-mailed the company and tried to get them to delete any information they already had, as we had definitely NEVER applied for an account or anything else with them. Wouldn't you know they e-mailed back and said I have to give an account number so they can deactivate it? I have NO account number! We didn't sign up with one.

You're probably thinking this was a scam e-mail and sent me to a spoofing site. No such luck. McAfee Site Advisor said it was legitimate. I also typed in the company's address rather than clicked a link.

I tried also to get into our account with the monitoring company, but wouldn't you know that didn't work? I forgot our password and couldn't find it anywhere, so I guessed a couple of times before they locked the account for our own protection. Great. My husband will have to call them to get it unlocked and to check on any suspicious activity.

Now as I think about it, I think the fraudulent activity is less of the SS# thing and more of a random thing. There is definitely someone who applied with my husband's name and e-mail address to steal money from us and have it sent to them, but it couldn't be finished until we okayed the thing. I think they've done this to countless people and some of them have been foolish and naiive enough to go ahead and furnish the info.

People, please be aware that there are TONS of folks out there who want your money. We all need to be vigilant and report them when it does happen. We refuse to ever give any account numbers by internet, telephone, or any other means unless it's something we know we've initiated. Most of the time (99.9%), we insist upon postal mail and then we check it all out before sending any money, account information, etc.

If you don't protect yourself, it's likely that nobody else will. Trust God, but please use the brains He blessed you with. (speaking to myself here...always need a reminder.)

1 comment:

bethanyrae said...

I think you kinda lost me there in the details. I've not done those kinds of things online, so I don't know how they work. So glad you caught it and knew what to do! scary about the ss#. It's so wierd about how often we have to give it out. It used to be our health ins account#, and every health worker everywhere had it, along with all our vital information. Go figure!
bethanyrae