Credit hacker leaves stains behind

Husband was the first to spot him.

Or maybe we’re talking “her.”

At this time when gender pronouns get so much focus, the person I’m talking about here, does not deserve any such respect.

For gender or anything else.

He/she/they/it is a thief.

The first sign came when we received notice that my credit score had dropped by more than 200 points.

That’s what happens when you skip two months of payments on your Navy Federal credit card.

I agree it’s an appropriate penalty.

Except for one thing.

I never took out that credit card. I’ve never even belonged to that credit union.

After an hour on hold to talk to someone in their fraud department, I got that matter cleaned up.

All was good until I signed up for a $9.99 Spotify account with another card.

Do you know when I would pay 10 bucks a month to listen to music?

Um, never.

I’ve cleared that one up with Bank of America just in time to get an email from Apple saying I used my iTunes account to subscribe to HBO Max.

Is it a real email or one of those phishing attempts that’s just begging me to click on some link that will take me further down a credit hacking nightmare?

It looks real enough, but this nonsense has me feeling like I’m walking through an amusement park funhouse with crazy mirrors. What is up or down? Who do you trust?

Have you been here, Dear Reader? Did you get that creepy feeling that an unwelcome stranger is lurking inside your house?

I remember back to January 2000. I came home from work to find that someone had broken into my home. While they had ransacked the place, it didn’t seem like they took much.

That is, until the next day when they came back and stole my SUV off the street from right in front of my house.

Police eventually found the vehicle. It had some damage which was fixable.

More damaging than the scraped up bumper were the moldy sandwiches stuffed into the side pockets of the doors, the stubbed out cigar butts in the ash trays. All of it left the lingering feeling that someone I didn’t know, someone threatening had been in my car, my house.

I got rid of the damage, cleansing that icky feeling was a lot harder.

Which is where I am with this current credit intruder. I will get through alerting whomever, shutting down whatever I need to.

But the knowledge that someone sinister is lurking, poking, thieving inside of my financial house, that gross feeling and fear will take longer to repair.

My message to them—we might be a step behind you for now, but we’re watching you, whoever, wherever, whatever you are.

Daryn Kagan is the author of the book “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.” Email her at

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