Ownzored Part 5

And it goes on and on and on…

Update. Identity thief has also started up a second Sprint PCS account in my name with two phones… which I discovered when I got the bill. This is in addition to the phone they already tried to add to my pre-existing Sprint PCS account. I was able to call them up and kill it with no charge to myself, but they’ve had the phones since Oct. 4th.

I also got a “Welcome” package from Citibank for a new banking account that somebody tried to set up in my name. This is scaring me, since they always ask for Mother’s maiden name for that kind of stuff. I’m sure it’s a matter of public record, but I can’t think of any way I leaked it. As you might guess, my faith in this whole system is not as sound as it might have been before last week. Of course, I axed the bogus Citibank bank account too. I might axe the credit card account completely, though pretty soon I won’t be able to start new accounts anywhere for a while.

I think I know where I screwed up. Last month I put a voter registration form, change of address form, and a bunch of bill payments in the outgoing mailbox at my job. That mail was basically a complete set of every piece of information you would need to impersonate me, minus my Mother’s maiden name.

Yes, I realize how incredibly stupid this was of me. I mean, who am I to think I can trust the people I work with or the mail carriers not to intercept my mail and write down all of my juicy personal info!? Needless to say, I’m switching to the Blue boxes from now on, at least until I’m shown how stupid and insecure that is too… then I’m going to be training passenger pidgeons.

Thanks to Dale, I had some good resources to look into what to do next. Bright and early on Monday, I’m going to be flagging my info at the three big credit agencies as being haxored. It’ll get in my way for a while, but I can live with that. I need to make myself an inconvenient target.

I also filed a police report today, though I don’t know if it will do any good. Citibank will probably do most of the work, once they send me the affidavit to fill out with the list of bogus charges. $3000 is not chump change… (to me, anyway). I’m sure they’ll have a good fighting spirit. Sprint can’t be very happy either, since the perp basically got two working cell phones for a week on their dime.

Not that I think they’ll get caught. I only hope they’re done with me, now that I’m paying attention. There are millions more suckers just like me out there.

What weirds me out is how all this stuff keeps coming to my house. That isn’t very clandestine. I was able to kill the Citibank bank account before anybody was able to use it (I think). I was able to reverse a phone shipment… I was able to kill the iBook order. I wonder what the deal is.. is this all a smokescreen to keep me busy while somebody frames me for something big? Or is this just somebody throwing out everything they can to see what they can make stick? What am I going to find in my mailbox on Monday?

All of these charges and bogus accounts so far were basically made at about the same time, so I hope this thing blows over soon. Every day I get something new in the mail, and every day I have to cancel another bogus account or fill out another report.

I’ve been asked a few times if I think this is something personal against me, and so far I don’t think so. I may not be the most loveable guy on the planet, but I’m not aware of any actual enemies. But I do worry that if this person is taken in for this that I might have earned an enemy. I don’t know if my next move is supposed to be moving out of town.

This big cloud of question marks is killing me.

OWNZORED PART 4

All right this isn’t funny any more.

That package from Sprint PCS was a second phone that somebody was trying to add to my wireless account. This means it went beyond somebody getting my credit card number. This means somebody has been intercepting my mail, and probably has my SSN (or I don’t think they would have authorized the second phone).

This is full-on identity theft, and I have no fucking idea what to do next.

I am well and truly owned. There’s somebody out there who has my number, and is more than willing to use it to hurt me. And there’s nothing I can do about it other than just take it. I wish I had the knowledge and abitity to prevent this stuff from happening to me, but I am not 1337 enough to keep up with the bastards out there.

OWNZORED PART 3

Damn, when it rains it pours.

I got a hold of Apple, and it turns out somebody tried to order an iBook with my Mastercard. I jokingly asked for the shipping address so I could go beat somebody up, and the response was that for that exact reason they couldn’t give it to me. That’s understandable. If I were serious about taking vigilante action, it would probably be some poor sap at some convenient location who took the fall. At least the cops are likely to ask some questions before they start shooting.

Ownzored Part 2

Okay, I think I’m getting to the bottom of what happened to my Citibank Mastercard. I found these images on my Mac desktop under the filenames “so_long.jpg” and “sucker.jpg,” respectively:

Ownzored

It looks like somebody tried to fund a vacation on my Citibank Mastercard. There were a bunch of huge cash withdrawals in addition to a reservation at a hotel, all of which are purchases I think I would remember.

Not to mention a mysterious call from Apple about a purchase made on the same card but shipped to another address (and this isn’t the card I used to buy the G4 tower). Also, today I got a UPS note for an attempted delivery of something from Sprint PCS that cost $330 but that I have no recollection of ordering. I told UPS to return to sender because whatever it is I don’t want it and I don’t want to get shafted on the return shipping either. I hope it’s not a huge battle to reverse the charge.

I feel absolutely 0wn3d. A whole bunch of things all suddenly happened at once. I don’t think I’ve been particularly careless with my credit card numbers, but it would only take one slip. This is the first time I was hit, so I hope this was just the day my unlucky number was drawn, and not a sign that things are getting worse.

Luckily, Citibank was on top of it, and noticed the pattern before any of the purchases were authorized (or at least billed). With the state of things as they are, I’m glad the credit card companies are willing to take the hit for this sort of thing, because I would be kissing a significant chunk of my savings goodbye otherwise.

No use getting pissed off. I hope whoever did this is crushed by a meteor, though. A nice big one coated in magma, riddled with razor sharp spikes and blaring out the Muzak version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” because that’s how badly I want them to suffer through their final moments. But other than that I’m totally cool about this.

In the Flesh?

Oops… I should have read that flyer a bit more carefully.

It turns out that the “Flash Gordon” Director’s Cut playing at the Aquarius in Palo Alto this weekend was actually the “Flesh Gordon” Director’s Cut. This begs the question of why there was so much hooplah about it being the “X-rated” director’s cut, since the original cut was, too. I think the hype was all in my mind, because I was thinking of the wrong film. Honestly, I was never quite sure if “Flesh Gordon” was even a real film and not just a running gag that seeped into the pop culture consciousness.

I called Kathleen to inform her of my mistake and she just laughed. My friends are used to this kind of thing coming from me.

Never to be hampered by the shackles of good taste, my party decided to go anyway. After all, Flesh Gordon is a classic of pornographic cinema. How can you pass up such a golden opportunity?

Now that I’ve seen it, I think I see why Flesh Gordon is still playing the circuit. It’s a riot! The film is totally a product of the 1970′s and has a lot in common with the works of Robert Crumb and Cheech and Chong. It has that playful, anything-goes attitude about sex, politics and everything else. There are tons of clever sight gags and innuendo, and the production values are surprisingly good both for the time and for the genre. It doesn’t really surpass the cheesy sci-fi flicks that it spoofs, but it doesn’t look like a cheap rip-off either. For some it would be a painfully BAD movie to watch, but for me it was just bad enough to keep me watching in dumbstruck awe.

I guess I should skip the part where I gripe about how women were portrayed in this film, considering the fact that it’s PORN! I just hope all involved had a good time and made it through the 70′s okay.

Better get on that Aquarius mailing list so I can have digital confirmation on the film titles!

MISC. DEBRIS

Warning: this is a Journal entry… one of those things that nobody should care about except me. But I’m stealing a page from Pat’s book. I want to read this stuff when I’m a decrepit old man and have some idea of what was going on all those weeks ago when I wrote this down.

Anyway, what did I do today?

  • I got caught up on some comics reading, not least of which was a stack of “Ultimate Spider-Man” issues that’s been building up for a while. The issues were USM #22-26 and the Marvel Team-Up Super Special. I was dreading reading this run because I knew something bad was going to happen in #25, and I didn’t want to face up to it. I made an effort to avoid spoilers and finally just started reading the story one page at a time without peeking ahead. I always enjoy things more when I can force myself to do this. They don’t call ‘em “spoilers” for nothing, but usually I can’t resist. However, if you like spoilers, I’ll elaborate on what I’m talking about in the “More…” section.
  • I drove to Golden Gate park and wandered around for a bit. Then I went and had a burrito at Gordo’s, a place on 9th & Lincoln that my roommate showed me a while ago. I also wandered into a small market in search of some fruit… the place was so tiny and packed that I think I incovenienced every other patron there at least once with my clumsy, lanky bumbling. But at least I came away with some very tasty peaches and plums.
  • I went to see “Goldmember” at the Parkway Speakeasy theater, a very cool joint in Oakland where second-run and classic films can be viewed over a slice of pizza and pitcher of beer. Other participants were Pat, Kathleen, Beej, and Adam. Adam courageously decided to stay behind after Goldfinger to watch “Attack of the Clones” without us. I hope he made it out intact.

    It’s always good to see my friends, and I feel I have to appreciate it as much as I can now, because these fun times are getting more and more sparse as time goes on.

    I intend to go again, especially now that I know how to find the place. I’m finding my navigational skills are easily crushed by the streets of San Francisco and Oakland, and only the worst can be anticipated when I’m driving from one to the other. I can’t believe that a place I can see from the hill behind my house in SF would take an hour to reach on the road, but there you have it.

  • I’ve had the song, “The Book I Read” from Talking Heads: 77 stuck in my head all weekend. I’m swimming in a sea of sap! Make it stop!
  • Jeez, I guess that’s it!

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