As a wife and woman of the world, I have responsibilities galore. I am here to share them with you and hope to get a glimmer of recognition and understanding from my readers. We are all in it together, ladies. Stuff happens to me and it can happen to you, too. Here is my most recent story. I am sure it has happened to someone else out there.

My husband was a hapless victim of identity theft. What a nightmare. Just notifying all the credit card companies was a chore. We had to be sure that all the charges on the stolen cards were eliminated and that new cards were to be sent. Then there is the matter of all those online passwords to personal accounts. It goes on and on. Someone can watch Netflix under your name – what nerve, order coffee for their office on Amazon, buy whatnot on eBay, and heavens knows what else. The digital world is their oyster once they are you. If you have good credit, that is. Then they can take advantage of your good name and go hog wild. Suddenly, you are a spendthrift and seeker of endless commodities.

I had to help my husband clean up this electronic mess and stop further action right out of the box. Once we though, we had everything under control, we had to establish a new reputation for him. It isn’t easy if the hacker has had a wide swath online. Plus, the thief can use your credit card to flee the country if they like. No joke! Catching these people is impossible since there are so many of them. Internet scams abound and stolen identities are among the first crimes of the new digital age. It often comes from distant lands that are not subject to US law.

Let me tell you, we became super paranoid. We would amass all our documents – anything with our names on it like bills and invoices – and shred them into tiny unidentifiable bits with one of these heavy duty shredders: Anyone going through are trash is going to be disappointed. Important documents like passports and social security cards are locked away in our home safe along with birth certificates and our marriage license. These are sacred. But, frankly, these days people have access to everything through Facebook and other social media platforms. No amount of apologies from the company can assuage our fear when they get hacked. The banks are often victims as well. Yikes! All your data is in someone’s hands.

A victim of identity theft feels as violated as someone who has been mugged. It is that personal and in your face. You are angry and want revenge. Alas, none is forthcoming. The only thing to do is get a symbolic catharsis by shredding your stuff to prevent further assault on your character – and pocketbook.

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