12/02/2007

12-02-07 - 3

Holy crap, it looks like I'm being identity-thefted. I just got my credit card statement and noticed two strange charges from something called CLKBANK that I didn't remember. Turns out that's "Clickbank" an online payment thing, and fortunately they have this deal where you can look up where the charge came from. The two charges were done at www.gov-records.com and www.People-Records.net , which are identity selling services ; the fact that the charges were done in my name would seem to indicate they were pulling records on me.

Now I'm faced with the absolute retarded insanity of id control in the US. I can't change my Social Security Number. I can't change my Driver's License number. I can't even change my bank account numbers, all I could do is close accounts and open new ones. I'd like to do something preventive but I don't seem to have many options.

The credit card that's compromised is a Chase Visa that's like 3 months old and I've hardly used it. I guess there a million ways to steal credit card numbers but I thought it would be way more likely with a card I've had a long time. It's also ironic that I've just lately put my computer in total lockdown and scrambled all my passwords. Of course that only prevents electronic attacks, this feels like an old fashioned phone and paper attack.

It would be so easy to make credit cards very secure online. You just have to stop using credit card numbers. Instead you run a program on your local machine which generates a temp code that's only active for one charge or one day or whatever. That way the retailers and the various payments processors never get access to your number.

BTW yes I know I can put a fraud alert on my credit reports. This Call for Action group is pretty cool for helping consumers.

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