I suppose it was bound to happen to someone close to me, but when I got the call, I was still pretty doggone shocked.
Someone "stole" my husband's identity and used it to open an account at a major retailer a state away. Fortunately, the financial services provider for the retailer smelled a stinkin' rat and called us immediately.
After many phone calls, he now has an "alert" on his social security number, et cetera. However, as a public service announcement (does this count as community service in case I do something illegal at some point in my life?), I want to remind all of you that filling out forms for new clients can be somewhat of a crap shoot. Even if your contact is completely legit him- or herself, someone else who works in his or her office might not be so squeaky-clean. It's fairly simple to "lift" an individual's info and use it to buy all sorts of crap.
Consequently, I'm hoisting my fat ass onto my dusty soapbox and urging you to exercise caution when giving out personal data. You don't have to get paranoid about it -- life's too short to turn our OCD tendencies into overdrive -- yet you shouldn't ignore the fact that there are assholes and cons out there.
Enough said. Be safe, boys and girls. This playground needs you healthy, wealthy and wise. Oh, and a little bit witty and weird, too.