How Victor Tried To Steal My Identity

I fell for this official looking text message thinking it was from my bank.

Oh God!!!! I just fell for the oldest trick in the book and gave my SS# over the phone to someone who I thought was from my bank. He's not from my bank. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!It's not unusual for my bank to text me. I get all kinds of messages from them, they love me. I'm on their speed dial. We go way back my bank and me. It's a very dysfunctional relationship...but that's another story.

So, I called the number and a very friendly voice answered.

"Thank you for calling Chase Mortgage. May I please verify the address associated with your mortgage?"

The minute I heard the cadence of his voice I got a funny feeling deep in my chest. Something was off--but he had the demeanor of an Apple Store staffer so I thought:Ah, it's no attention to the man behind the curtain.

"Yes, it's 232_ _ _ _ _ ."
"Thank you. For security purposes, may I please verify your social security number?"
"Sure, it's 78_-_ _ _-_ _ _ _."
"Thank you very much. Now, may I please have the name associated with your account?"
"Rachel Tripp...T-R-I-P-P hyphenated H-A-J-J-I. But, I just go by Tripp now."
"And am I speaking to Ms. Tripp?"
"Yes sir."
"Wonderful! how can I help you today?"

At this moment I realized what I had done. How could I have been so dumb?! The room began to spin around me. I started hearing Chris Hansen's voice narrating the story of my identity theft on next week's Dateline: Secret's and Scams.

"I don't know. I just got this text message telling me to call. You tell me."
"Well, I don't see any alerts on your account. Is your payment due soon?"
"Uh, is it? You tell me."
"I don't have that information in front of me here. What was the date of your last payment?"
"Jeeze, I can't remember. Usually you guys have all that information when you pull up my account."
"Yes, hmmm. Strange. So, what's your name?"

Cue the horror film background music. My face starts to go numb.

"My name is Victor."
"Hi Victor, I didn't get your last name."
"I'm sorry ma'am, we don't give out that information."

I hear his voice start to shake just for a second, but this guy's a pro. Like a skilled pilot he pulled the plane straight with just a slight flick of his wrist.

"I can give you the initial of my last name, it's M."

Long pause. I listened for background chatter. None. The only sound I hear is the blood rushing behind my eyeballs. I'm so screwed. 

"Oh, okay. So, you don't see why I would have gotten a text from Chase? I always make my payment at the same time every month. Can you tell me when my payment is due? Maybe I made a mistake this month?"
"Oh yes ma'am, usually it's on the first of every month. That's normally the way companies bill people."
"Huh. Well, do you have an extension number I can reach you with? Just in case something comes up?"
"No ma'am."
"Okay. How about a reference number or something?"

Long pause. I was starting to feel like I was on a bad date. He was feeling me out, I was feeling him out...the two of us looking for cues from one another for what to say next. I wondered, why hasn't he hung up yet? He got what he needed from me in the first five seconds of our conversation. Maybe he did have a crush on me? I was starting to get a crush on him too because I was more than a little impressed by the show he was putting on. I mean, talent is talent and everybody knows I'm a sucker for creativity.

"No, I'm sorry. Again if you need assistance with anything just call the number in the text message. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
"No I can't think of anything. You know" I said, "I feel pretty stupid for giving you my social security number so enthusiastically."

I could literally hear the smile creep across his face as he said, "Have a nice night ma'am."

You too Victor...whoever and wherever you are.

We'll always have the fraud department.

Update: Fret not my friends. After I hung up with Victor, feeling a little twang of sadness that our conversation was over and missing our banter already, I called my bank and all the credit bureaus to have the place a security lock on all my crap. I'm locked up tighter than a skeeter's ass in a nose dive! Ain't no one tryin' to get a loan, rent an apartment, or open up a Walmart line of credit with this bitch's identity!


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