Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why I color my hair.....

Sheesh….when is this garbage going to STOP. Yesterday was a bear of a day. It was just one thing after another at work. I was so glad when the day finally ended and it was time to lock up and come home. All I wanted to do was get in my jammies and relax with a pot of fresh, steaming coffee.

At home however, in my mailbox, I had received notification that my personal information, along with thousands of others, had been mishandled and lost. In other words, someone lost several boxes of tapes….or else they were stolen…who knows anymore. But they have to advise me that my info is out there for the picking …my name, address and the good old social security number. PEOPLE!!! Have you not ever heard of encryption???? This is a big investment company I’m talking about here. They have my info because I have a few shares of Disney stock.

And get THIS. To make it up to me for THEM being careless with my personal information that could allow thousands of dollars to be charged in my name, they are going to GIVE me…. ..Abolutely FREE of charge….(gasp) a whopping TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of credit monitoring. And to add insult to injury….they discovered the box was missing in FEBRUARY and its taken them all this time to figure out whose names were on the tapes that are now LORD KNOWS WHERE. My guess would be somewhere in BFE where the info is being sold to the highest bidder as I write. So, this kind of makes this 24-hour monitoring gift of theirs a bit ASSININE, doesn’t it. This is a laugh. It’s an embarrassment. If I wasn’t so mad right now I really would laugh.

The last time my identity was stolen it was used to create a fraudulent account in my name for a cell phone, I put a flag on my name with all three credit bureaus but I think it has expired by now. It took me months to sort all that out and I had intense hatred for the woman that used my name 1500 miles away from where I live. Thankfully, I did not have to pay any of it after proving that I was really me and that I live HERE and not THERE… the signatures didn’t match. HA. So now what. I guess I will call all three credit bureaus and see if I can flag my name again.

We just have to come up with a better system. I say banks or any organization that requires your social security number for their files should be MANDATED, by law, to encrypt every single piece of data that they create and/or store that includes that information. And the government should assign watchdogs to make sure that it’s being carried out. That way if something is misplaced or stolen it would be useless. See? I’m just an average Jane and I figured that out….WHY CAN’T THEY?

*UPDATE – I tried to call the three credit bureaus this morning, using the 800 numbers given in my correspondence and all I got were computerized menus that send you in a frenzy of never-ending circles but no human. (don’t any of these companies employ humans anymore?) Something tells me that this is going to be a Catch-22 situation, but I will keep trying. After all, I wouldn’t want to be afflicted with mind-numbing boredom by having my days blend into a ho-hum cycle of everything going effing RIGHT for a while. Oh, how frightening that would be…..I always have been afraid of the unfamiliar and unknown! I need a drink.

*SECOND UPDATE - Upon reading Fiwa's comment, I decided to try what she suggested and ask for more credit protection. Well, I guess I was so upset when reading the letter, I mis-read what they had offered. It was 24 MONTH protection, not 24-hour, which makes a lot more sense. I also took Anonymous Boxer's advice and forgot about the 800 number and went to the Internet. I'm now enrolled. Thanks to both of you for the advice. However.....I'm still ticked off that they were careless....and I STILL need that drink! HA.


fiwa said...

Oh Val - I'm so sorry. {{{Hugs}}}

You probably will not get to speak to a live person at the credit bureaus, but if you listen to the menu, it's not so bad. I just had to do it a year ago. And I personally thought the phone version was much better than the internet version - you can do it in either place. And one good thing is now, you don't have to call all three. Just call one of them and place the alert, and they share it with the other two.

And yes, 24 hours is ridiculous. They should offer it to you for at least one year. It might be worth calling and asking if, considering the situation, that they could extend it to a year. I mean, it couldn't hurt to ask. They probably figure offer it for the piddling amount and hope most people will accept it - but a few will push for more and they might be willing to cover it.

Good luck with all of this. I'll be thinking about you.

(PS - I got your songs, all my comments are emailed to me, so it doesn't matter what post you put them on. :)

Anonymous Boxer said...

What can I pour you, Val?

This is when I shove aside all "help" and become VERY proactive .. and usually use the Internet putting checks and balances on my credit. I've given up with 800 numbers and phone trees. There's sometimes a "trick" of saying the word "help,help" to the automated voice.... someone who worked for UPS gave me this trick... "Agent Agent" also works.

I'm sorry this happened to you - it's one of the things I worry most about happening.

Kelly Jene said...

OMG! Val, how horrible! I can't believe this has happened to you twice. I hope it gets figured out soon. The last thing you need is some psycho Val out there charging up your name and credit.


Gypsy said...

EFFING Hell! How does this happen in this day and age. I have no useful advice to offer you Val, not being privy to the workings of this kind of thing over there. Hell I don't even know how it works over here......will a big Gypsy hug help?

Brad said...

This kinda stuff just burns me up. I had the Evil Coffee Empire do the same thing to me and I'd been an employee! At least they gave us 6 free months monitering and a discounted rate beyond that. A letter to your state AG would be in order me thinks - sorry I keep missing you on line !

simonsays said...

Well Charlotte, this certainly sucks. I have not had my whole identity stolen, but I have had many fraudulent charges on one credit card or another. It never, ever ceases to amaze me, just how many crooks there are out there. You know?

I hope that this is a better day for is Friday, after all. Hugs darlin. :)

Cheryl said...

I need a drink too. Can I come over?

Great post, great writing. I'm sorry you have to suffer through this, again.

The Real Mother Hen said...

hhhmm... what's your name Val? Give me your name, your date of birth, your Social Security - I'll get a loan in that name and see if it works :)

Aunty Belle said...

Arrrggh! Mercy, Val, this ain't no fun. Hope ya put a splash of Kaluha in yore cawfee.

Ya have good advice from yore readers, so I cain't add mush--jes' my sympathy.

Is life s'posed to be this way?


That is just awful!! Hopefully no one will have gotten ahold of your privvy's this time.
But it's not fair because of the amount of leg work you have to do for a mistake they made..I'm be certain to notate that in a nice lovely letter to them, and also to your state's attny's office filing a complaint about the length of time this company took to send you the info..when they wouldn't waste a millisecond to notify you if you had done something wrong..that wouldn't take them months.
that shit pisses me off and pardon my language, but, I'd give a beer or a glass of whatever if I could.

I hope it turns out okay.
Keep all your correspondence with them, including the names and/or agt numbers from anyone spoken to at this company/firm.


simonsays said...

How are you on this fine weekend? I hope it's a wonderful, relaxing one for you, you certainly deserve that.


I am answering your email today - I do apologize for the lapse in...hell, my memory? Or time? Or just a lapse in ME? :)