Dumb Mom’s Guide. Gay Porn, Chocolate, & Identity Theft.

I had my identity stolen once.

Not stolen like someone was walking around impersonating me Nicholas-Cage-in-Face-Off-style.

I mean like, someone signed up for an online dating site and bought a gentleman’s collection of gay porn using my ATM card number.

It was scary, an infuriating, and super confusing.

I was largely pregnant and had stopped by the grocery store, youngster on hip, to buy a massive amount of chocolate few necessities.  When I got up to the cashier, my card was declined.

What the?!

I know I have money for chocolate, yo.  Quit your playing!

Only, as I stood there sweating like I really was trying to steal something, I realized I didn’t actually have money for chocolate.

But why?  Where did my chocolate money go to?!

I dug some dirty spare change outta the bottom of my diaper bag, snatched my candy necessities, and high tailed it from the store, vowing to go to the cross town one from now on.

I freaked the freak out the entire way home.

And then, when I got in and jumped online to investigate, I freaked the freak out even more because, whoa!  I don’t want people to think I’m cheating on my husband with a chick!  Or have to pay a $500 bill for something I didn’t even get to enjoy!  Or not get my daily dose of chocolate!

I immediately called the bank and the gay porn company (they didn’t answer) and my mommy.

I cried super hard.

And, when I finally stopped my blubbering about how I didn’t even like gay porn, or any kind of porn really, they told me to get-a-grip-already because they would kindly remove the charges since it was clearly an uncharacteristic charging pattern and they believed me to be a victim of identity theft (aka you’re broke, you’ve never over drawn your account in the past this way, and we can’t see any prior gay-porn-creepy-dating-site-history in your past so we’ll give you this one).

They turned off my card, restored my stolen loot, reversed the fees I’d been charged, and told me to be more careful.

I had to pay cash for things for the next ten days until my new card arrived.

Annoying.

Point is, this thing can happen to anyone!

Even pregnant, married ladies who like to blow their cash on chocolate aren’t safe from identity theft.

And, I’m fortunate I caught this when I did.  I mean, clearly my account would’ve been blocked soon anyway (I was already grossly overdrawn), but what if it wasn’t, and what if I hadn’t noticed for a few days?  And, what if they’d used my card to do something normal like gas their car or buy groceries?  Maybe the bank wouldn’t have been so understanding?

Lucky for me I got robbed by a perv.

Want to learn more about how identity theft happens or what to do when it does?  Check out a few of these resources:

*pBd Admits To Working with these people: Today’s post was sponsored by pervy criminal masterminds Identity Guard, a company that specializes in creating solutions to protect your identity and that of your children as well (they developed kID Sure, a child ID theft protection product).  Learn more about what they do an how you can be protected on the Identity Guard site.

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Comments

  1. I know this is obviously an older post but I just HAVE to say you are an amazing writer. I love, love your writing! Mainly because it seems like a transcript of the conversations I have with myself in my head.

    “where did my chocolate money go?’
    “I freeaked the freak out”

    lol

  2. So if I ever get robbed I need to hope it is by a perv. Got it.

  3. Thanks for the warning–it can definitely happen to any of us. And wow, messing with pregnancy hormones was a bold move on their part!

  4. Yep- it happened to me too…. and Amex caught it before I even did- and reversed all of the charges and overnighted me a new card. I love those Amex people!

  5. I just had this happen to my debit card very recently. Someone was buying classic car ads on Auto Trader. It was so ridiculously random.

  6. Ugh, I don’t ever want that to happen to me. It would be just my luck that the person would have a shopping spree on an online sex toy shop.

  7. Remember, it can happen to your debit card info,too. Friends of ours were victimized because they had a hard policy of only using debit. Their pin was picked up. They were cleaned out of their cash and it took months to get the situation rectified.

  8. I have to also sing the praises of American Express. They caught fraudulent charges immediately and called and emailed me right away. They also cancelled the card and sent me a new one overnight. It’s always a disturbing feeling though when you realize any part of your identity has been hijacked.

  9. I’ve had my card declined before, but that was my fault (and woefully embarrassing b/c hello, I NEEDED those groceries!). To make matters worse, I had to decide which items to not get: chips vs milk. Dammit! To make matters worse worster worstest, the man in line behind me offered to pay the difference. ENSUE MORTIFICATION AND I DON’T WANT ANY OF THIS FOOD, I’MA JUST LEAVE NOW. I didn’t go back to that particular store for a year and some months. Literally.

    Outside of me having horrible money-keeping abilities, I’ve had my card used fraudulently on some purchase originating in New York back around Christmas last year. Thankfully Citibank called ME. I’m grateful for that. Using cash is irritating b/c I’ve gotten so used to just swiping. BUT. I have also learned my lesson on my card being used incorrectly by merchants: restaurants adding an automatic tip when I intended on tipping in cash or last week at McDonald’s when I tried to buy fries. Just fries. One dang box of a medium fry. And that idiot was swiping my card and trying to enter the amount but must have chosen debit instead of credit so his entering $1.97 for the amount was actually like an attempt at my pin (angry eyes!). Sorry to write a book. I have not had food.

  10. I laughed the entire way through this post! Perfect morning read! I do feel bad for you (truly) I mean, I ate PB M&M’s for weeks before having my 2nd son, and would have died had I not been able to get them.

  11. We’ve only had one issue (KNOCK ON ALL WOOD ITEMS REALLY, REALLY hard) and it was with our Amex. Some guy was signing up for some sort of training and used our credit card number. Amex called us to make sure it wasn’t us. We think he probably just typed the numbers in wrong, because it was a completely isolated incident and why would you sign up for training if you were stealing someone’s identity??

    I would have cried and died a thousand deaths of embarrassment at my card being declined. Especially when preggo, while filled with raging hormones.

  12. Now with a title like that, you *have* to deliver, and you so did.

    I hate that this happened to you, but you have to admit- this did make fabulously told story! :)

    (I had my card stolen once. It’s so– disheartening. Ugh.)

  13. someone swiped my amex a year ago or so and the credit card actually called me, there was a few hundred dollars spent at Home Depot and a few hundred more at Wal Mart…
    they thought that was odd since I don’t do home repairs and I’m a Target gal…
    That’s what I call customer service…

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  1. [...] about staying safe online and identity theft protection with you.  They did not tell me to share my gay porn story with you.  And they did not tell me to help you with your taxes.  I did that stuff because I [...]