I'm sure Madam Ellie has informed most of you via Facebook, but I had some identity theft issues this week. It's been...weird. A couple of months ago, Google informed me that my email account had been accessed from Malta, of all places. I followed their recommended procedures for changing my password, and will probably start changing them on a regular basis.
Then this last week, (on my birthday no less!) I got an automated call from my bank informing me that they had detected fraudulent activity on my account. Sure enough, when I went to check it, there were charges on there for a purchase that I never initiated.
The charges were from USPS.com, so at first I thought my account there had been hacked, but when I double checked my account, I found that I had no bank information stored there, so the leak came from somewhere else. I rarely store my bank information with online vendors, so I'm not sure where it may have occurred. I did what I could to lock down my remaining credit information and thought the issue was finished.
A couple of days ago, I got a call from a woman I have never met, in New Jersey. She had received a package from *me*. Since I had never sent her a package, I let her know that I was having a problem with identity theft, and that she should contact her local police department to handle the package.
Then she said the strangest thing; "I just don't want to get involved!" I thought to myself, Um, lady? You're already involved! I didn't actually say that to her, though. Just to be on the safe side, I then filed a fraud report with the Postal Inspector, and called my local Sheriff's office. The officer I spoke to wasn't sure how to handle an interstate issue like this, but got the number for the lady in NJ, to make sure she had her local police department involved. So far, they have not called me back to file an official report, so I'm unsure what to do at this point.
Anyone have any pointers? Know of any similar postal scams? I'm taking my cues from AlphaGeek on this, in that he doesn't seem to think this is that big a deal - according to him shit like this happens all the time. But it's hard - I'm mildly freaked out, and feel like I don't know when the next hammer will drop. Whoever did this, charged nearly $300 worth of postage to me, which means either really heavy or heavily insured shipping, or lots of packages.
Sometimes real life sucks ass.