A few weeks ago I got a strange message on our home phone about some huge balance I owe for my Sprint phone. I ignored it because well, I don’t have a Sprint phone. You’d think hearing something like this would raise a red flag but no, I just assumed they had the wrong person.
Then a week ago they called back. “They” is a billing company that works with Sprint to collect payment from people who are overdue on their bills. After I nicely explained to the lady on the phone that I don’t have a Sprint phone she asked me what my social security number was. I told her and she said yes, that’s the social security number that was used to buy this phone and monthly calling plan. It had my name on it, my phone number, and an address in a totally different part of the country. Now the red flag was raised.
The woman I was talking to was quick to say that it looks like someone got a hold of my social security number and used it. In other words, I am a victim of identity theft. Wow. That’s one of those things I definitely assumed would only happen to other people. Ignorant, I now know, but that’s the truth.
She told me that I had to report identity theft to my local police department and that they would investigate whether my social security number is being used anywhere else. Will you laugh at me or shame me or just not believe me that I still have not made it into the police station to report this? I’ve not been able to free up a few hours in the crazy family-work-move to a new house juggle but I am putting it on my to-do list for next week. I am, really.
But then there is the matter of my credit report and working things out with Sprint, which still has this huge balance connected to my name. I am happy to say that this part I am getting help with. You’ve probably seen Family Secure advertising on Work It, Mom! — they’re a sponsor of our site for a few months and we thank them for helping us keep Work It, Mom! great and free. Well, good thing I saw their ads because it turns out, this is something they offer as part of their service. For $19.95 per month they will monitor the credit reports and activity for your entire family, including your kids, and will work on your behalf to figure things out with creditors if an issue comes up, like say, someone steals your social security number and orders up a fancy Sprint phone with it. $20 bucks a month is very little to pay for a peace of mind and some help in a stressful situation, if you ask me. I signed up and they are on the case.
I encourage you to check out this service. Not because they are supporting Work It, Mom!, but because as a busy mom, your to-do list is long and I doubt checking your credit report and that of your kids regularly is on it. But it’s important and it’s something that’s easy to outsource.
Do you worry about identity theft? What measure do you take to protect your family?