Have you ever felt like you are waiting for the other shoe to drop, foretelling an impending disaster? You know the feeling, tightness in your stomach or dull ache in your head.
Well it happened to me the other day. My wife and I were at a social event on Friday evening. We were enjoying time with our friends and did not expect the next events to happen. The theme for the evening was a progressive dinner, moving from one house to the next for each course of the meal. We left one place and traveled to the next not thinking about what might happen once we departed.
Shortly after finishing the main course, my friend pulled me aside and explained that my car had been burglarized. We drove back to his house and sure enough, the one of the rear passenger windows was broken into about a million pieces. My mind raced as I opened the car door wonder what went missing.
At first it was only my laptop computer briefcase. Then as I ran through all the things that were in the briefcase, I realized the more than the case had been stolen. Inside the case was a copy of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, my USB thumb drive, keys to my desk and computer lock at work, some business and personal papers and my wallet. I was concerned about my wife’s purse being stolen as well, but she had fortunately taken the purse inside the house with her when we first arrived. As well, my company laptop was safely locked inside my friend’s house.
The one possession that might cause a grown man to cry by its loss was gone! All the bankcards, credit cards, pictures of my wife, driver’s license and $4 USD were missing. I did not panic; I remained calm. I started call all the financial companies where my accounts are held. My wife quickly arrived after I called her to join me. Together we put a quick end to the thief’s spending spree.
The criminal was stopped quickly by our combined action to cancel my cards. He/She only stole $100 USD from our business account. However, that was only the beginning.
As time has passed over the last few days, more hours and by all respects money have been spent to protect my name and credit. There was time lost by my employer for the re-work needed to reproduce the stolen files. Additionally, all the reporting to credit bureaus, federal agencies and requests for police records has been time consuming.
I would never have expected that my identity might belong to someone who was not I. Now it potentially does. Each of us must use prudence and sound judgment to safeguard our personal records. You could become a victim of identity theft, like me, if you are not cautious.