Friday, January 10, 2014
Interesting, Though Troubling, Phone Call...
I received an interesting, though troubling, phone call a few days ago. Here's what happened...
I was at home minding my own business, doing my whole try-to-be-as-productive-as-possible routine when my phone rang. Normally, if I don't recognize the number I let it go to voicemail, but knowing that I was waiting for potential employers to call me back, I felt it was worth the risk.
A bored sounding gentleman was on the other end and identified himself with his name and that he worked for the Secret Service out of Atlanta and he called to inform me that my personal information had been compromised. I didn't know what to think. When I hear secret service, I think about the White House, the president and his staff, congressmen and women, things of that nature. So I couldn't fathom why he would be calling me for any reason, other then to tell me I was in trouble for something.
He went on to explain that my credit card number, address (my old one, not the one I am currently at), social security number, and date of birth were all in the hands of someone else, and apparently they've had my information for two months now. He continued to explain the steps I should take after we got off the phone, including calling my bank and responding to his email that he was going to send me.
After I got off the phone, the first thing I did was try to process what had just taken place. We all see those commercials about how to protect your identity and we sometimes hear about friends of friends having their identities allegedly stolen, and we always naively say to ourselves, "that will never happen to me". But the one thing that had me pondering the most was that I was contacted by the Secret Service. Not the local police, not my bank, not the FBI (though that would still be a stretch, but would make more sense to me), but rather the Secret fucking Service!
Perplexed, I looked at the number this guy called me from, and it was a 555 number. Like one of those numbers used in movies that aren't supposed to exist. So I thought, "is this a scam of some sort?" It didn't seem that way to me. After all, he never asked me for any information, he already KNEW my information. I know this because he read it to me. Still unsure whether he was legit or not, I looked up the number for the Atlanta Secret Service field office and called the main line. Turns out, the guy who contacted me is real.
So being less confused and a little more clear headed, I called Navy Fed and explained what happened and that I would need a new card. Some of the stars must have lined up that day because they already had one in the mail for me. I then asked them to look at my statement, as I can only look at the last month or so online, and see if they can find any card activity in the area Mr. Secret Service Man had specified was the area my information was active in. The bank saw nothing and I trusted them as I check my statements a lot anyway.
One question still remained: why would the Secret Service contact me about this? That question may never be answered. I suppose I could call the agent back and ask, but I'm sure he has more pressing matters that require his attention. And I guess this means that I don't have to pay for services like LifeLock, I've got the Secret fucking Service watching my back!