Tuesday, May 15, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail from the LAPD. Someone they arrested was in the possession of a lot of my personal info, and they wanted me to call and let them know if I'd noticed any fraudulent activity on my credit.

Back in January, someone had tried to use my credit card to buy tickets to Disneyland. This caused a lot of confusion for me, because we had a trip to Disneyland coming up about a month later, and I wondered if Disney had perhaps charged the remainder of our hotel room. So I spent a bunch of time on the phone with Disney and my credit card confirming that no, that charge was not mine.

So I tried to call the detective and tell her about that... but she wasn't in. I left a message and put the letter on my desk at work, to remind me to call back again.

Then today, I got an email from Amazon confirming that they'd changed my email address as I asked. Except I hadn't asked. I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with a nice lady at Amazon confirming I was me and I had not changed my email address and learning about what I needed to do next.

Then I called the LAPD detective back. She was very nice. The man who was arrested had a lot of people's personal info. There was even a movie star on his list! She didn't say who, but she did say he called her back personally, which I find somewhat soothing. Me and some movie star, both talking to a nice LAPD detective about consumer fraud. She said a lot of the other victims weren't as lucky as me: they had fraudulent charges and fraudulent accounts to clean up. Some had accounts for which mailing addresses had been changed.

My Amazon account is back in my control. I've called and cancelled the three credit cards that were stored in the account, although there is not indication that the person who took control of my Amazon account managed to access anything or even order anything. I am debating whether or not to set up two-factor authentication on my Amazon account. I probably will, once I convince myself it won't screw up our ability to watch shows on our Roku.

Next, I need to place a hold on my credit with the credit bureaus. I checked my credit right after I got the letter from the LAPD, and nothing fraudulent had been opened.

I used to grumble that if crooks took the effort they directed to stealing digital identities and directed it to something legit, they'd probably make decent money. Having tried to make my little publishing company make a profit, I no longer say that. It is hard to make a business succeed! But still, I am annoyed at the crook who had my personal info and wish he'd pick a different way to make a living.


My other annoyance is that my stomach is still not quite right. I am not sure what would make it come right at this point. I have babied my stomach for more than a week and it hasn't sorted itself out. I haven't even been wanting my usual three squares of dark chocolate at the end of lunch. Something is clearly not quite right!

I am reminded of a friend who told me about one of her friends who had a stomach bug and was basically better, but not quite right... and who came to visit her in Chicago and ate a Chicago dog with the works and then was great.

I don't think I'd like a Chicago dog with the works, but maybe I should try having a couple of beers.


That's all I have the energy for tonight. A pox on crooks and bad stomachs.


  1. All my empathies for the crappy ID fraud situation - I'm surprised they caught him TBH but am very glad they did before he got far with your info.

    Commiserations about the stomach situation. I went through a few weeks where every meal upset my stomach and my dietician friend recommended that I try taking a probiotic with as many strains as I could get. The advice seemed a bit light on info but I tried it anyway since it worked out to a dollar a day, from Sprouts, and after six weeks, my stomach pains have generally stopped. I couldn't be positive it was entirely due to the probiotics but it's the best reason I have so far. Here's hoping you find your solution!

  2. xykademiqz9:18 PM

    Mmm, beer.

    I'm really sorry about your data stolen. :-(

  3. EarthSciProf4:40 AM

    Sorry to hear about your data and your stomach =(. I support beer, maybe unfiltered with healthy yeast ;), as a potential fix.

    Have you had any good California (or other) beers in the last month or two that you'd recommend?

    1. Hmmm... My go to beer is Coronado Brewing Company Mermaid Red. But I doubt that's available outside of San Diego. There's a bit of a trend for grapefruit IPAs here and they're pretty good. My husband is an IPA fan and likes them and I'm so so on IPAs and like them... I know Ballast Point has a grapefruit sculpin IPA and Green Flash brewing has one, too. Those are both pretty big breweries (and Ballast Point got bought by a bigger beer co recently) so maybe they're more common to find.

    2. EarthSciProf3:07 PM

      Thanks for info/recommendations. Will have to keep an eye out for the Coronado beer. Don't think I've seen it on the eastern side of the continent. I've had IPA that head in the direction of grapefruit? Will definitely check out the ones you mentioned. I've had one or two beers (IPAs?, maybe the Habanero one?) by each of Ballast Point and Green Flash and have liked them.

  4. Sorry about the data stolen.

    I have had the not quite right stomach and fixed it with a week of probiotic powder. It really helped right everything. I hope you are back to eating chocolate soon.

  5. I have been taking probiotics since Petunia threw up. Maybe I just need to be patient and they'll eventually sort me out. But I am tired of feeling blechy!

  6. If it was the works that worked, I was going to suggest sauerkraut (I tend to trust food-based pro-biotics over unregulated powder supplements), but it looks like Chicago dogs don't have sauerkraut... but maybe pickles? I currently have a fine stomach, but I just caught DH's cold which comes with a painful itchy throat. So I'm drugged up and constantly eating/drinking to sooth it. (I even got out my last "throat coat" tea packet, which tastes horrible but does what it advertises.) Hope your tummy feels better soon!

    That really sucks about the personal information. It's a scary world out there. I'm glad they caught it and let you know.

  7. Socal dendrite10:39 AM

    Stolen data = yikes!

  8. Ugh, I dealt with identity fraud a while back. It was so so much work (and I was in the middle of medical residency so free time I did not have!) It took a while for me to figure out what was up...they had used my name/SSN and changed my address so that I wouldn't see the bills. It was after bill collectors kept calling and calling (I would usually delete the messages on my answering machine) that I finally tried to follow up and figured it out. It was also mail fraud, since some of my legitimate mail ended up going to that other address, so I had to do SO MUCH paperwork. Anyways, sorry for the novel, you have my sympathies for dealing with this.
    I got sick last December (my kids were puking) and my stomach was not quite right for about a month. I tried all kinds of things and it eventually just got better...so probably something long-lasting is going around? (my family did take said sickness to san diego over winter break, maybe we were patient 0 for your area)


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