Friday, May 30, 2008

Class Action Lawsuit and Identity Theft Protection

Another class action suit, that I would think is quite important to check out, since it involves your credit.
Certegy Check Services and Fidelity National Information Services had a theft of personal and financial information from their databases my an employee from millions of customers. The employee was fired, of course, but the information was sold to third parties ( see, didn't I tell you that your information can easily be stolen from anywhere you do business.....even your own bank! Ugh! )
Basically, their sites says that if you have a credit card, paid by check for an online or phone purchase, got cash at a casino or had a bounced or returned check, you may qualify. Hmmm? I have a credit card. In fact, I have paid by check over the phone in the past to my utility companies before! Does that count? I don't know, but I am going to find out.
To find out if you qualify, click here. If you have concerns about providing the requested information, please contact the settlement administrator, Epiq Class Action and Claims Solutions at 1-866-486-4814, or write to Epiq Class Action and Claims Solutions c/o Data Settlement 10300 SW Allen Blvd., Beaverton, OR , per their website.
What will you be given if the case is settled? Potentially, up to $20,000 in any identity theft losses you may receive or received from 1998 to 2010. You also get credit monitoring or bank monitoring, identity theft insurance and reimbursed for certain expenses.
For once, I am hoping I am NOT included in this class action suit.
What else do they say about this case? Well, they advise that you remain vigilant in regards to your credit report by monitoring free credit reports and reporting any suspicious activity.
I, for one, have to agree that monitoring your credit report, especially in the day of the internet, is imperative to being a smart and savvy consumer. Because I check all my balances regularly, I was able to catch on as soon as someone broke into my Paypal account at Christmas and charged over $1,000! And, Paypal immediately took the money from my checking and credit card ( they split it up ) so I had to notify everyone immediately. Thankfully, my checking account has a limit set of what can be charged and then the rest when to CC!!
And, as a Christmas bonus for me. Since the majority of it got charged to my credit card, I earned money on it! Woo, hoo! When Paypal refunded me, they just put the money in my Paypal account, so I withdrew it and paid my credit card statement with it. I earned over $10, thanks to that thief!
Unfortunately, some guy out in California had already shipped a $1,000 electronic to the thief overseas, and he had to refund the money back to he was out! Poor guy! But, hey, that is why they say don't ship to address that doesn't match the Paypal Address on file. Due diligence is a must!
And, to this day, I really, truly have trouble using their service. I know it could happen with any online site, but the fact that the shipping address on my eBay paypal account still has the thieves address, and no one can seem to get it off, really frustrates me.
Which, on to another story, is why I am firm believer in having at least one 2nd checking account, which you use online for Paypal, Revolution Money
Exchange, Obopay, etc. I don't keep much money in these accounts, and I withdraw to them. But, I then transfer the money to my "real" checking account later. Just extra protection for me.
Finally, I do run my credit report regularly, as should you! What are some suggestions?
  • Free Credit Report - you can get a free credit report, hence the name. They do sign you up for a 30 day free trial with their protection program, so make sure to mark on your calendar when you need to cancel.
  • Get Your Credit Report Now - $6.98 and it signs you up for a 7 day trial to their protection program, so mark your calendar to cancel. I would use this as a last resort. Once you have gotten all your free credit reports for the year, and you want to do another check, you can then use this route.
  • Annual Credit Report - you are entitled to 1 FREE credit report a year from each of the 3 agencies. This is a definite.
Hope these links keep you on your toes with your credit, and I TRULY hope you aren't part of the class action suit above!


Carrie @ said...

Any blogger experts out there? Why, when I type some of my articles...even with spaces between all runs together like this post when I post it online?

Andrea said...

Carrie, if you write it in the html version (instead of compose), you can avoid that usually. Compose version looks pretty but then goes crazy when you publish it sometimes.