After cancelling my credit card and having my credit card company re-issue me a new one, I had a good talk with a friend of mine who works for the Mountain View Police Department. I asked him if we could find out who took my credit card number and pay them a late night visit, a la the TV show, Cops. Of course, I would bring my friend, Mr. Louisville Slugger, and my friend in the MVPD could bring the real firepower. Unfortunately, I was advised that vigilanty justice, however good it might feel, wouldn’t be my best option.
My friend suggested that since I lived in Los Altos, I should file a police report with the LAPD. So I did. I met with officer Scott Sweezey. He ask some questions and took some notes but until I had the actual credit card bill detailing the unauthorized charges, he wouldn’t be able to investigate much. Officer Sweezey suggested that I contact the three credit companies (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) to put a flag on my account. I also went to annualcreditreport.com where I ran a free check on my credit. This is the best site if you have questions about your credit…..and you’re allowed one free credit check per year. The site also allows you to place a “fraud alert” on your credit cards which lets potential creditors and others know that you may have been a victim of identity theft. I also found a link to the FTC consumer protection website, where I learned even more about how to protect myself from identity theft. There is a good video that details victim’s horror stories as well as showing consumers how to protect their indentity.
Meanwhile, I am still waiting for my monthly statement to see what “I purchased.”