So, as technically savvy as my household is, we found ourselves the victim of a phishing email.
Here's how it happened:
My husband received an email early in the morning, too soon before the requisite coffee had reach it's critical mass for him.
It looks oh so official.
He was told in this email from "Amazon" that someone has tried to get into his account and if that wasn't him, he needed to secure his account.
Ok, it definitely wasn't me, he thought, I'll hit the official looking link to secure my account.
He was taken to a page that looked very much like it was Amazon.com ... and he proceeded to "secure" his account by answering the security questions they have.... Name, address, social security number, phone number, and credit card number on the account.
He gave it all up.
Fortunately he mentioned to me about an hour later that Amazon wanted a surprising amount of data to secure his account.
My antennae picked up on the potential security breach we had just experienced.
Our first step was to call Amazon Customer Support to see if that email had indeed been sent from them. No, we were informed, they had not sent that email. NOR would they have every sent such an email.
Clearly we had been had.
So we immediately started jumping through hoops to get things locked down so it didn't get worse.
BIG NOTE HERE... because this much information is now out on the black market, we have to keep a security freeze on our credit at all times. Not impossible to work with, just making it more difficult for us when we do intend to use credit for anything.
Here is an article that we used to take all the steps necessary to make sure our accounts and credit is secure.
12 Point Checklist for Victims of Identity Theft, on Bankrate.com
If, or dare I say when, you find your self in a similar situation, this is very valuable information.