STOCKTON, Calif. - Lori Gobbe has spend days trying to rescue her stolen identity and keep her credit intact after using her card at a Stockton Target store.
"I used my Target card on December 6," Gobbe said at her Stockton home Thursday evening.
Records show someone began opening credit card accounts in her name the next day, although she had no idea for more than a week.
"They had gone from department to department within like 12 minutes and charged like $5,000," she said.
Once she learned her identity had been stolen, she began blocking compromised cards and asking for new cards with new numbers.
It made no difference.
"Before that card even reached my mailbox, they had already started charging on the card with the new number," Gobbe said.
She is not responsible for any charges, but has spend untold hours trying to keep her credit intact.
"If I'm not on the phone with a credit department, I'm on the phone with a credit card company or I'm on the phone with a manager from a store," she said.
Gobbe ended up having to cancel all her cards.
"The fact that I had to close them all because they were intercepting the new ones, you know, that's devastating to me," Gobbe said. "Every time you close a credit card it affects your credit score."
She's reported the use of her stolen identity to local police departments, who may be able to use video of the thieves to find and arrest them.
As a victim of identity theft, she said she now questions everything.
"I'm very suspicious," Gobbe said. "Even when the credit card companies are asking me for my social, it's like you're wondering if it's really them."
She's also considering joining one of several class action lawsuits filed against Target.
"I would be interested just for the sake of, you know, power in numbers," Gobbe said.
She's also aware it may be hard to even prove the theft of her identity was even related to the Target breach.
Gobbe said she would like to see credit cards in the U.S. have chips imbedded to protect their information instead of the magnetic strips now used that are able to be easily read. In Europe, cards with embedded chips have dramatically lowered the number of identity theft cases.
She would also like to see the protocols that govern the credit card industry in the U.S. be tightened considerably.
"It's a violation, it's a real violation," Gobbe said. "It makes you feel really insecure."