Identity Theft Horror Story

I am absolutely head over heels in love with shoeboxed. Let’s not be presumptuous now- my love does not stem from the fact that shoeboxed is the child we are collectively raising. Nor does it stem from the ridiculously good looking people that I live with (although this makes work and life easier). I love shoeboxed because it protects our most sacred bit- our identity.

My brother’s flight had just touched down in New York City after spring break this year when he called me to tell me about his trip. He nonchalantly concluded the phone conversation with, “oh, and Mo, my bank card isn’t working…can you call them and find out what’s up?” He does nothing for himself.

I called, did the usual and pretended to be him, and what do I then discover? Someone had charged his card to QVC (the home shopping network), a BMW dealership in Los Angeles, a power company in southern Texas, and a candle store in Chicago.

You know that Princeton is worth every dollar when your younger brother responds to the situation at hand with “but I was just in Mexico for a week, and I don’t drive a Bimmer, I live in New Jersey, I HATE candles, and why would I ever need knives and salad dressing from the home shopping network.” He clearly didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

The good people at the bank had him send in an affidavit and they credited his account with the money from the four different purchases he didn’t make. Then, we had to go through weeks and weeks of phone calls and paperwork, account number changes, and countless meetings with the lawyer before things were even remotely okay. But the person or people who did make those purchases still have their hands on potentially very valuable information that could ruin his, or should I say my, life.

To this day, we joke that it is actually pretty amazing that my brother noticed that his card wasn’t working and decided to bring it up in conversation. If it hadn’t, we could have been so much deeper in something we did not want to be in at all.

So, let this case of mini-identity theft that could have been much worse inspire you to sign up for shoeboxed.