that one time… my social security number was stolen…

When I was in college, I had a lot of credit cards. A LOT. I didn’t have a lot of debt though because even though I had a credit card problem, I didn’t have a spending problem… most cards I signed up for were for the discounts and coupons. If I used my Macy’s card or my Victoria’s Secret card or one of the other 10, it was paid off right away. Sooo, not a big deal, right?

Until I tried to apply for a new credit card… and got denied.

I applied again. And again. And got denied again and again.

WHAT is going on?! I finally called to ask WHY and was given some devastating news…

“When we type in your social security number, Ms., two different names come up.”

Um, what? Two names? What’s the other name?! Well it’s MY number! I’m ME!

How do you prove that you are YOU? Let me tell you, it’s a challenge. I repeated every address I’ve ever lived at, even for a month. I gave birthdays and maiden names. It wasn’t enough. How much can you plead that you swear you are who you say you are?

And ya know what? I’m actually a “lucky one” when it comes to identity theft. Yes, it caused a ton of problems and headaches, took a lot of my time, and was a massive hassle. But… no money was stolen, no money was spent, my credit score was not affected. I was lucky. It’s likely that it was someone unauthorized to live here simply using my SSN to get work in the US.

But I know others who are not so lucky.

At that time, I canceled nearly every credit card I owned and I’ve never looked back. As of today, I have 4. My own debit card, a shared credit card with my husband, another card we use just for gas, and… my Macy’s card–the ONE I couldn’t part with, even though I rarely ever use it. Gone are my Victoria’s Secret, Old Navy/Gap, Bergner’s, Best Buy, Amazon, and I can’t even remember what else.

What is really scary is that this really can happen to anyone. I can’t believe it happened to me, but it was a life lesson, and it’s something I want to protect my kids from as much as I can. Did you know identity theft has been reported for victims as young as 11 months old?!

So now, we’re all LifeLock members. My husband used to monitor our credit scores, but it wasn’t enough–we needed to protect our children, too, and we needed something more reliable and constant.

identity theft

LifeLock helps protect against identity theft. They relentlessly monitor for exposure of your personal information (and with everyone all over the internet these days, that’s important!), they send you alerts of potential threats, help you recover if you become a victim (would have been so helpful when it happened to me!), and offer support 24/7 every single day.

We’ve only been members for about a month, but I’m already super impressed. I don’t get a ton of emails from them, just important stuff. They’re working to lessen those spammy pre-approved credit card offers in the mail, I can check our credit scores anytime I want, and I know our personal information is being monitored. I’m super excited to be a new LifeLock brand ambassador! I strongly believe that identity theft is real and it’s important to try to protect against it–so watch for more posts and information from me!

Have you been a victim of identity theft or do you know someone who has?

They’re also having a LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes right now–you can answer 10 multiple choice questions on different topics each week to win awesome weekly and monthly prizes including LifeLock memberships, Visa gift cards, and family vacations. It’s easy (if you answer incorrectly, you get to try again!) and it’s fun (you’ll learn a lot about identity theft!) so go check it out and don’t forget to enter each week! Just “like” their facebook page and click on the Sweepstakes tab. Good luck!

lifelock sweepstakes

I’m a LifeLock Brand Ambassador and was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

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