Ever bounce a check? Then you know the sickening feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you pull that slim envelope from the mailbox. You know how anxious you are to make the check good and assuage your feelings of humiliation. But what if you never get that bank notice? What if you get a letter from a collection agency first?
That’s what happened to a woman in Weatherford, Texas. But she was certain she’d never written a check at her local Wal-Mart as the letter accused. So she did what anyone would do and called the collection agency’s phone number included on the letterhead. No matter which option she selected from the voice mail prompts she got the same response: Please enter your bank account and routing numbers. She hung up instead.
She then checked with Wal-Mart’s store manager who informed her that the store number indicated in the letter didn’t exist.
It’s a new way for identity thieves to obtain your personal and financial information. All they need to get started is your name and address. It’s a pretty safe assumption that most people have shopped at their local Wal-Mart at least once, and not unlikely that they paid for their purchases with a check or a bank card.
So what do you do if you get that letter or a phone call that accuses you of writing a bad check that you’re sure you didn’t write?
First of all, whether you’re contacted by mail or phone, don’t give out any information.
Call your bank to see if any of your transactions have been returned for insufficient funds, or if they’ve seen any unusual activities such as large withdrawals.
Contact your local law enforcement agency to report the identity theft attempt.
Don’t wait for trouble. Head it off by enrolling in LifeLock’s proactive identity theft services. Visit LifeLock.com and sign up using the LifeLock promo code DEFENSE and pay only $9 a month AND get 30 days of free protection.
At the end of the 30-day free period, your card will be automatically billed $9 monthly unless you cancel within that first 30-day period. You can cancel anytime without penalty by calling 1-800-LIFELOCK. This offer is for new LifeLock members only.