By lex, on January 14th, 2009
Last Saturday morning I realized shortly before heading down to the airport that I couldn’t find my wallet. I was running late, and could only do a brief search. As a precaution I locked out my credit card account, and on Sunday I tossed the house looking for the wallet, even going back to the last store at which I remembered having used. The clerk at the store was sympathetic, but no – he hadn’t seen a thing.
I’ve been the victim of identity theft before, and know the drill. It would all be an enormous hassle of course: Replacement bank cards and credit cards were easy enough to come by given a day or two, but between military, government and state IDs and licenses, I’d be in the belly of the bureaucratic beast for the better part of the week getting things untangled. Went the extra mile and put a lock on anyone trying to open up new accounts in my name by visiting Experian.
Hot all weekend (Santa Ana’s) but cool and clear on Monday. It was with mixed relief and exasperation that I put my jacket on for work only to discover that the wallet had somehow slipped down my sleeve – the one place I hadn’t looked for it. Who puts a wallet down his sleeve?
Quick calls the credit card company: Was there time to call the whole thing off? No, sorry. The new card with a new account number was on the way. Ah, well. Out eight bucks for the expedited shipping, but at least I could bypass the DMV.
Today: Got an email from eBay in my new iPhone (a Christmas present from the Hobbit) saying that there was a question on one of my items. Cheerfully logged in, went nowhere in particular and signed back out again. Only to realize that I’d been phished. It had been very artfully executed – no spelling errors, a professional appearance. Meh.
I’m usually more clever about such things – any time I get an email with embedded links from any entity with which I have a remotely financial interest, I always run my cursor over the link to verify that it’s what it pretends to be. But I’ve been having a discussion over a bit of kit I sold recently, and there was my new iPhone helping me along, and, well: There’s one born every minute.
In a lather I logged into my account from my desktop trying to assess the damages, got to my credit card account and saw that it still reflected the old card number. I hadn’t gotten around to changing it. Changed password and secret question, and have lost nothing but my dignity.
It’s better to be lucky than good.