The Not-so-glamorous Side of the Holidays: READ THIS IF YOU SHOP ONLINE!

It happened so fast!


I was sitting in a hotel room waiting to meet friends for dinner, and decided to do a quick check of email. There was an iTunes receipt, which isn’t unusual because Renaissance Man occasionally spends a couple of dollars here and there to add programs to his Vintage Radio app. If you know someone who loves the old radio programs, they’ll love this app!


But the items on the receipt weren’t his usual; in fact, they weren’t “him” at all.


And so, without thinking, I clicked the text that read,


If you don’t recognize these charges, click here.


Distracted by the need to soon leave for dinner, I quickly typed in my user name, password, and the information needed to verify my account.


And then, mid-stroke, my usually (but not that day!) vigilant brain kicked in, and a gut-wrenching feeling took over me.


I had been scammed. It happened so fast . . .


That’s when the “fun” really began as immediately I had to

  • cancel the linked debit card
  • change my password (and write it down so I’d remember it in the future!)
  • forward the email to Apple’s fraud department
  • contact my ID theft company
  • put fraud alerts on my credit report and Social Security number

And three days later, after I got back home, I had to

  • go to the bank and order a new debit card because they couldn’t do it over the phone when I called to cancel the first one — aargh!
  • wait a week for the new card to arrive
  • change the linked card number on multiple auto-pay accounts


Three months later, I’m still watching to be sure I moved fast enough to keep my identity from being stolen. But do you know what Social Security told me?


It’s probably fine, but as a precaution you should try to file your taxes as early as possible in 2018—so no one else will use your number before you do.


What. A. Pain.


So today I bring you this public service announcement compliments of LifeLock, providers of identity theft protection.


Shop smart, my friends!



Have you ever been scammed—or a victim of identity theft!


* There are no affiliate links in this post.