Email Burglaries, Identity Theft, and Other Nuisances
I was already having the quintessential bad day; you know the one, dog vomit, moody people, no steam in the steam room, when I received an email from Social Security stating I should contact them if I had not tried to change my online information regarding my online account. I had not. I called the provided 800 number and after the customary button pressing to determine the correct venue for my issue I found out I had a 25 minute wait, so I opted for the return phone call.
When the representative called me back she verified me using the utmost high-tech credentials, my name, social security number, mother’s maiden name, city and state of birth, birthday, and address; certainly not something the most sophisticated of criminals could ascertain. After the arduous process, she finally determined somebody had indeed tried to circumvent my email and physical mailing address and reroute my information to their own. Even though she could not give me any details, it was clear I had not done the malevolent deed myself.
I endured a thorough ear spanking wherein I listened to the speech prepared by the government as to why I should not give out my social security number or other private information; I gathered they did not exactly buy my “story” that I did not provide my personal data willingly. The kind woman on the other end of the line then kindly deleted my account and offered the fact that I could sign up again if I would like to in the future. Not likely. The wonderful citizen who did this in the first place still has my private information, thank you very much, Madame Government Worker.
An hour or so later, I realized my email account had been hacked; I felt violated, but I had been here before, only months earlier. I knew the drill; I immediately created a new email account, and then methodically went to every place I could think of to update my information. It was more challenging than I thought it would be; I thought I was I neophyte when it came to using technological devices and online accounts. Not so. I spent the majority of the day cleaning up a mess I did not create.
As the day wore on I started to think about how invasive this procedure had been; some idiot sat at their computer and stole something inherently mine, given to me at birth, my name. Even though I was not as violated as some have been, it was a violation nonetheless. They had no right, whoever “they” were.
The incident reminded me of the time my car was stolen from in front of my house; I had left it running with the keys in it. I hated that car; it was a red, 1995 Pontiac Firebird. When I got the car, I begged for it from my husband; he claimed I would hate it, that I would hate the T-Tops, the long doors, and everything about it. I never wanted him to know, but I hated the car more than anything.
By the time it was stolen, I wished secretly every day somebody would take it. However, when somebody did, I was absolutely incensed. I worked hard to pay for the car I hated so badly; I paid for the maintenance, the insurance, and the gas. When they walked over and just drove off, they took more than just my car; they robbed me of my innocence.
Tonight, I am a little annoyed at what happened because I lost out on a day of writing and researching; but, whoever violated me did not steal anything other than a few hours of my time. They certainly feel worse about themselves than I do, because, come tomorrow, I will still know who I am; a little more educated about people, and they will be stealing from somebody else.