Two of you; one real and one stolen

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

With our current unstable environment, identity thievery is breaking out all over, including right here in Maine. Just getting a glimpse of someone who looks like you -- which has happened to me a number of times* -- is alter-reality weird. Next level strange is getting that phone call from your credit card company and hearing the details of the spending spree trail some “alter you” took with your now compromised credit card, a both unsettling and inconvenient experience.  But to have someone virtually step into your shoes with all of your information and become you?
While we can’t control whether anyone else gets our facial blueprint or not, we are able to protect our identifying information and EAP shows us how. Many employees aren’t aware that our EAP Work/Life Services program has an online resource library available to all employees with a vast amount of information addressing a wide range of life concerns including how to protect against, identify and report identity theft. The attachment provides additional information about identity theft and instructions for accessing the Work/Life Services portal. The last thing anyone needs during this stressful time is to have to clean up the mess an imposter has made of our lives. 
Don’t forget your EAP benefit also includes free and confidential counseling services.  Experienced counselors are available 24 hours a day by calling the EAP toll-free number, 1.800.769.9819. For further support during this unusual time, EAP holds a virtual support group session you can drop in on for a healing opportunity to talk about your experience and hear how it has been for others. An Outlook invitation for the weekly session is attached for you to conveniently save to your calendar.
*Double take
The first time I saw my double I was deplaning in Bangor after a very early morning flight. This was back in the day when you re-entered the airport by returning through the boarding area. As I traipsed my ragged way back through the rows of chairs, I saw a person who looked just like me 20 years ago. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Should I go talk with her? I decided against it. She might not appreciate having a not-yet-showered middle-aged woman come up to her and say, “Guess what? This is what you are going to look like in 20 years!”
The second time was about 10 years ago when a co-worker I met for the first time just stared at me and said I looked exactly like her best friend. So that’s who it was. I knew there was another me out there. For years store clerks had looked at me funny and asked whether I’d just been in the week before. At least this time around I actually got to meet my double at a dinner arranged by my  co-worker.  While my doppelganger didn’t seem quite so freaked out, I couldn’t take my eyes off this person with my face eating steak, not the most likely choice on the menu for me. But I can tell you one thing: I bet having her identity stolen rather than her image borrowed would get her attention.