A representative of the bank who controls my credit card called yesterday. She went through a list of recent charges, asking me to verify them. More than $500 was spent at an online catalog called BooStore, and another couple hundred at some joint called 2BSports. These purchases were not authorized.
The representative said someone had opened department store credit accounts using my name and birth date, but that they were investigating this and had already notified the major credit bureaus of possible fraud. She said after our conversation the credit bureaus would be advised of actual fraud.
This must have happened very recently because nothing was amiss when we financed our new house. I've experienced credit card fraud before. Three months after a stay in Rome somebody used my VISA number to buy thousands of dollars worth of auto parts and car stereo components in Urbina. Someone else used my VISA to purchase an internet service in Reims, France two years ago. In both those instances, however, there was no actual identity theft. I suppose nearly everyone will deal with this at some point in the information age. Thank goodness the folks running my account caught the suspicious activity before it got out of hand.