Identity Theft Hits Home – Lessons Learned

I know this is a bit off topic, but it hits home. Its concerns a first hand story of identity theft and some things I have learned that I would like to share.

One of my children who is in college received a notice about a credit card they filed for. When I asked my kid about it, they told me they had not applied for any credit cards. I thought it odd, and put it in the back of my mind to look at later. In hindsite we should have seen this as the first warning that someone was trying to steal our identity.

A few days later we went to purchase a car. When they pulled a credit report, it was clear that someone was trying to steal my child’s identity.
We immediately filed a fraud report with all three-credit agencies.

Here are some other early warning signs someone is trying to steal your identity

You apply for a credit card and are turned down because of a low credit score, yet you know that you’ve always paid your accounts on time.

A debt collector calls to demand payment on a six-month overdue account for a credit card you have never had.

You receive a credit card in the mail that you’ve never applied for.

I then reached out to a good friend of mine who is a security specialist and works for a credit bureau. I asked him for some advice. He sent me a very informative email. I will not disclose his name at this point, because I do not have his permission. But I felt what he told me was so informative that I should share it with you all. This is a good blog to save someday in case you ever need itL

A good site to outline the steps to follow:

www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm

Here is a fast track path approach:

FIRST, contact the fraud departments of each of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax

www.equifax.com
To order your report, call: 1-800-685-1111
or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 1-800-525-6285
and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian:

www.experian.com
To order your report, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
or write: P.O. Box 2104, Allen TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
and write: P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013

TransUnion:

www.transunion.com

To order your report, call: 800-916-8800
or write: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022.
To report fraud, call: 1-800-680-7289
and write: Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

SECOND, close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

THIRD, file a police report with your local police or the police in the community where the theft took place.

If you become a victim of identity theft involving federal education funds or suspect that your student information have been stolen, contact:

U.S. Department of Education,

Office of Inspector General Hotline: e-mail oig.hotline@ed.gov, 1-800-MISUSED (1-800-647-8733)

For more information or to report identity theft that does not involve federal education funds, visit the following sites:

Federal Trade Commission, 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338)
Internal Revenue Service
Social Security Administration, 1-800-269-0271

I hope you never need this information. But if you do here it is. I never thought I would need it. Its a scary thought that they would even attempt to steal the credit of a 19 year old.

Posted Michael Corey, Ntirety

www.ntirety.com

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