Author Topic: Identity theft AGAIN  (Read 654 times)

Zoot

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Identity theft AGAIN
« on: July 14, 2017, 05:23:24 PM »
A little over a year ago, I had my checking account information used to create and write a fraudulent check (details here).

Last week, I got a letter in the mail thanking me for signing up with Verizon for a mobile account, which I didn't sign up for.  I called Verizon--to their credit, they were already aware of it as fraudulent activity, and they sent me an e-mail stating it was fraud, that the account was closed, and that I was not responsible for any of the charges.

Today, I got a letter in the mail thanking me for signing up with AT&T for a mobile account, which as you can probably guess I ALSO didn't sign up for.  I'm currently listening to the hold music at their fraud department.

After the Verizon incident last week, I filed an identity theft report, and described both the checking account incident from 2016 and the Verizon incident.  I'll be adding the AT&T incident to that report, and I'll also be filing a police report.  I've also placed fraud alerts with all three of the credit reporting agencies.

The Verizon fraud guy said that in order to open the account they had to have a social security number.  I asked what number they used, and again to his credit he wouldn't tell me, but I gave him the last four digits and he confirmed that those were the ones on the account--so the thieves clearly have my SSN.

I am thinking of calling IRS to report that this has occurred, and to see if there has been any unusual activity on my account, but I'm not sure if that's a thing I can even do.

What other advice do you have, Forum Hive Mind?

Birdie55

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 05:26:04 PM »
You should read this guide and freeze your credit it you didn't already freeze it after the last episode.  Hope this helps. 

http://clark.com/best-of-protect-your-identity/identity-theft-guide/

Zoot

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 05:39:37 PM »
Just got off the phone with ATT--it was as pleasant as such an experience can be, I guess.  :)

The representative said that a common tactic for thieves is to notice vacant houses or houses with for sale signs in the yard, and sign up for mobile services (in my case with both carriers, multiple iPads) with the address.  The devices are then mailed to the address and the thieves take them from the porch. 

We just put up our house for sale and were gone for 2 weeks to Europe while it was on the market, so this is very likely what happened.  The thieves had signed up with my old address, and because I already has a postal forwarding set up (we had already moved to our new house), USPS sent change of address info to the carrier, and confirmations of signup for online service and mobile insurance came to my new address--which is the only way I even found out about it.

It weirds me out to think that people were watching my house all that time and figuring out the activity meant that they could use the address for that purpose.  It weirds me out even more that they had my correct SSN, which they used along with my name and address to open the accounts.  It weirds me out even further to think that there may be other accounts out there open in my name that I don't know about.

I'm glad I'm obsessive about mail--I go through junk mail carefully to be sure there's nothing weird.  It's because I paid attention to my Spidey Senses and opened the letters from these carriers that I found out that this was going on.  If I hadn't, I'm not sure I would have ever known.

BlueMR2

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 12:17:46 PM »
I think there must be criminals that just surf the net and/or cruise the streets looking for houses being listed.  My grandmother's place was up for sale for maybe a week before we found it being as listed for rent on Craigslist by some people we'd never heard of (and for a ridiculously low price, about half the going rate)...  People were going for the scam too as at least a couple of them showed up on the doorstep to see the house before renting.  At least they were that smart, I wonder how many people wrote checks and then were disappointed to never get keys...

Johnez

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 08:22:09 PM »
The fact that they matched up you, your SS, address, and the fact that you were selling is what disturbs me. I wonder how many of us have some sort of "file" on a database that these criminals can pull up whenever they see the opportunity...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 08:24:05 PM by Johnez »

Can't Wait

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 05:54:19 AM »
You need to freeze all three of your credit reports, like now. It will just keep happening to you if you don't. Just pay the $5 to each of the bureaus and have the reports frozen, then no one can use your credit. New account credit applications get rejected immediately when your credit reports are frozen.

GizmoTX

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Re: Identity theft AGAIN
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 06:34:13 AM »
After you freeze your credit at all 3 bureaus, you can temporarily 'thaw' your freeze to allow a necessary credit check or if you want to open a new credit account. Cost depends on your state; in Texas we pay $10 x 3 = $30 for each thaw, which is time limited.

The IRS has a security PIN program you should apply for, especially since you suspect SSN abuse. With this in place, it becomes much harder for anyone else to file a refund return using your identity.