“Mugged While Sleeping…Leads To Credit Repair”
On the way home from work, Tom looked at a short list on his “to do list” and began sequencing the list into a logical travel pattern to minimize crisscrossing. Sunday grilling with family and guests were an important event around the pool while cooling off and just chilling and relaxing and disengaging from the challenges and stress from work. This would be another great weekend.
While at the check out in the grocery store, the total rang up 2.52. Tom had given their other credit card to Tricia in the morning so she could make her stops as well. “Sir”, the check out lady said seeing he had a credit card out, “will that be credit or debit?” Tom said, “credit”, as he swiped his card. Some moments passed. “Hmmmmm….” The check out girl said, “Do mind swiping your card again, this one didn’t take.” Tom swiped his card again with the same result. Tom knew there was a ,000 limit on this card and nothing was owed as he settles up every month like clockwork. In a panic, not believing what was happening, thinking it was just a machine malfunction Tom pleaded with the check out girl while unconsciously raising his voice to “try it one more time!” She does and says, “Nope, didn’t go, do you have another card?” she asks. Tom says, “no, I shared that with my wife this morning.” The clerk says, “Well sir, we have a big line up behind you, you’ll have to push your cart over to the service desk and perhaps they can help you.” Embarrassed by what was transpiring Tom pushes the cart over to the service desk and in further panic, calls Tricia on his cell phone.
As Tom would soon find out, he had been mugged in his sleep. Violated as if someone had pistol whipped him and took all his money and destroyed his credit rating in the process all in one full swoop. This story is repeated many times every day of the year over and over. Lives are interrupted. Yes there is a new law regarding identity theft and yes there are remedies to resolve the issue. However, now instead of having a great weekend with family and friends, he now needs to put on his fireman’s hat and gear to fight a wild fire threatening to destroy his good credit. The point is there is a street savvy criminal element that is out to take as much as they possibly can from you. You are just another mark. Bonnie and Clyde would be considered a couple of pikers compared to this scum. There is the matter of “universal default” where if you a delinquent on one card all the other credit card interest rates increase. A victim must be proactive. Much depends on it. The Federal Trade Commission web site on Identity Theft is a good place to start. This is no substitute for the phone work and letters you will need to employ perhaps over a two or three year period to fight your way back. This is where you will need to invoke your own credit repair program.
Can you totally eliminate this debacle? No, but you can make it tougher. There are steps.
A few measures would be: (1) Get a Post Office Box where no one will be able to rummage through all those credit card offers and later pick that applied card up out of your mail box using a newly supplied phone number to activate. (2) Buy and use a shredder for any and all personal information that formerly was exposed to self-appointed garbage can divers looking for your financial information. (3) When a vendor wants the “Three number code” on the back think twice about sharing it. Some pin numbers are stolen by looking over your shoulder. (4) Check your credit file frequently with all three bureaus. Monitor your credit file. (5) Require that any user of the card needs to show on the spot identification. (6) Don’t run dates of birth when running a credit report this is too much information. (8) Be careful with your information. Credit scores are utilized for granting and quoting mortgages, car insurance, car purchases and all can be adversely effected by a low credit score, whether it is your fault or not. (9) Keep a lower limit credit card for any online or impulse purchases. Lower the hit.
To get satisfaction, you will need to file a POLICE REPORT. Unfortunately, many of the offending perpetrators turn out to be family members and the victims are reluctant to file a POLICE REPORT, which will put the perpetrators in jail. Do not make your information available to anyone in your home. It would be like leaving thousands of s, s and 0 dollar bills hanging out on top of tables, all over the floor or sticking out a drawer. The temptation is just too great. Make it real tough for ANYONE to hurt your credit rating. No police report, no coverage from the credit card companies and there you are an even bigger victim. Mugged while sleeping by someone in your own home.
Sleep with one eye open. Avoid getting mugged while sleeping. Credit repair is no fun. Limit your exposure. If you find yourself a victim, file a POLICE REPORT and get busy.
About the Author: Dale Rogers is a thirty-year mortgage veteran and frequent contributor to the Broken Credit Blog The BCB is a free website created to assist the general public with information about credit repair and responsible mortgage lending.