For many years, Pam Giltner and her husband refused to use credit.
As a victim of identity theft more than 20 years ago, when several retail cards were opened in her name and checks written from her account, Giltner, 69, spent years rebuilding her financial life.
When she learned that she was one of the 145 million Americans affected by the recent Equifax data breach, in which personal and financial data were accessed including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses, she was cast back to the fear, frustration and anger she felt as a victim of identity fraud.
Now, she has trouble sleeping at night.
“It’s the fear of losing money,” says Giltner, a retired registered nurse in Albia, Iowa. “And the fear I might have to go through this all over again.”
That’s why she was crying in her banker’s office. She hadn’t lost any money yet, but she was afraid she might.
“We don’t have a lot of money,” she said, which is why she went in to ask about protecting her savings account. Her 50th wedding anniversary is coming up and (more…)