The first call came from a man in Texas. He said he received a cashier's check from a bank in Alabama in exchange for $3,000 in baseball memorabilia he was selling online. The package arrived by Federal Express and the shipping label listed my name, address and phone number. He called me because he was suspicious because my address is in Connecticut but the bank is in Alabama.
After the second of several similar calls, I figured out that someone had stolen my credit card and was shipping counterfeit checks all over the country using a Federal Express account opened in my name.
I had heard that identity theft, where someone gains access to personal information then uses it to open credit cards and take out loans in other people's names, was rampant. I wasn't sure if that's what was happening to me, but I quickly learned to act on my suspicions. After some research, I realized I needed to make three critical calls, and fast: