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seattle61 @ 10:52 am: What about my CURRENT credit card accounts
A friend brought up the fact that whoever gets this information could conceivably hijack our CURRENT credit card accounts, since they have all the "confirmation" information to be able to call and change an address and request a new card.

Doesn't matter that they don't know who you have cards with...they can just start calling and hope to hit paydirt. And with so many cards concentrated into a small handful of card issuers, it really isn't farfetched.

Doesn't matter if they don't have the card number. I've called many times without the number, and just given them all the security info...and I was in!

I called up all my credit card companies and asked if I could put some sort of "password" protection on my account. One of them had a random question like favorite sports team. Whatever. LImited number of choices there...they could hit it easily. I chose something a little more esoteric. One company added this on, in addition to all the info they already had on file (that the thieves now have)

However, one card company at first said there was no way to put a password protection on my card. I persisted, explaining that if the thieves have all the security information already, we had to find someoway to protect me.

Finally they indicated that I could create a fake "mother's maiden name". Bingo. So again, I came up with something that made sense to me, but would be very hard for someone else to hit upon. I also asked them to put in their notes the question that would help me remember (just in case).

Be sure to record all this new security info someplace safe so you won't be locked out of your own account!!

Also, make sure you record every conversation you have regarding this whole issue, and file by institution/company. Include date, the person you talked to, what you agreed upon, and any confirmation numbers they may give you.

I'm also recording the time it is taking me to get all this done. It seems like I should be reimbursed. Not sure if that is wishful thinking. ;-)

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