February 2014
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Target

I didn’t shop at Target during the Holidays.  Imagine my shock when I checked my bank account Monday morning and discovered debits of $935.00 for online purchases that I did not make.

I am at the Bank when it opens.  This is a familiar procedure for me.  It is the third time in ten years that I have gone through the process of closing accounts, disabling cards and starting over.  IBM lost Health Net Data a few years ago; that was a big breach.  The trunk of my car was pried open and my purse stolen while I was hiking at a local park.  And now this.  Add a trip to Social Security to authorize a change in my Direct Deposit, put a ‘hawk alert’ on my credit file, and I spend 15 hours dealing with the mess.

I have changed many things.  I don’t take anything but my driver’s license, AAA card and a little cash with me when I go to parks.  I use my ATM only at selected businesses.  I do buy online, but again, selectively.  I made six online purchases in December using my debit card.  This  is the time period when it is believed my card information was stolen.

A few years ago, I followed excellent advice from Bank of the West.  I started monitoring my bank accounts daily.

So, more changes are in order.  I am going back to writing checks and paying cash.  I won’t use my debit card for online purchases anymore.  It is  inconvenient; but obviously,  much safer.

It is President’s Day.  If you plan on going shopping, beware.   You might consider using a credit not a debit card, or ‘just pay cash’.

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