Author Topic: Scared of Identity Theft  (Read 5426 times)

ichangedmyname

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Scared of Identity Theft
« on: September 19, 2014, 12:06:40 AM »
I am trying to separate from my husband and I am scared that he is going to steal my identity to cause trouble for me. He knows my ssn, dob and my mother's maiden name. His mother has the same name as me first and last (different middle name).

Until our divorce is final and i can change back my name, what can I do to protect myself? I really don't want to but if purchasing Lifelock is the only way I would give it a try given that it works.

Help please. This has been keeping me up late. Thanks.

galliver

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 12:56:57 AM »
I'm sorry you're in this situation. :(

Creditkarma.com will check your credit score and report I think up to once a week. Mint.com has introduced a credit score and report feature as well. If you have a Discover credit card, you can now get your FICO score through them. Not sure how often Mint or Discover let you check/update, but all three are free and legitimate. I know there are other ones but I haven't used them so I'll let others recommend.

Also looks like you can put a freeze on your credit report: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs not sure if that's right for you.

theadvicist

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 01:46:07 AM »
So sorry to hear you're going through this.

I wonder if a domestic violence charity may be able to offer advice on how to protect your identity from theft. http://www.thehotline.org/ is one I found, but I'm sure googling could turn up some more.

I would say if you are worried about this, he sounds like a character to be wary of, so speaking to someone doesn't seem like a bad idea. But even if you don't feel that you are in physical danger I imagine they have come across circumstances like this before and will know what steps to take. Good luck.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 06:58:02 AM »
You could simply freeze your credit.  It's the cheapest way to protect your identity.  Just go to each of the credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) website and search for credit freeze.  The only downside is that when you want to apply for new credit, you have to pay $10 to each credit bureau to do a temporary "unfreeze".

Timmmy

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2014, 09:11:41 AM »
Dave Ramsey has been pushing a product from Zander Insurance that is supposed to help with fixing any identity theft problems.  That's the hard part.  It may be worth investigating.  I think it's fairly inexpensive. 

Otherwise freezing credit is good, just remember, not all companies check credit report before issuing credit cards. 

Not sure a name change solves much.  I've twice had credit cards taken out with my SSN but with a different last name. 

ichangedmyname

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 04:54:59 PM »
Will background checks from a job need to check my credit?

maizefolk

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 07:39:40 PM »
Some jobs but not all. I've also rented apartments where the landlord required a credit check before allowing me to sign the lease. However, as described above, you can temporarily unfreeze your credit for $10/agency ($30/event). Honestly, in an ideal world frozen credit (with your approval required to allow anyone to see the report) would be the default setting for credit records.

Lyngi

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 10:35:56 PM »
Freeze your credit!  Easy to do on-line for 2 of the credit reporting agencies, in about 20 minutes.  The third requires a mail-in document.  You can unfreeze for a specific agency, but I haven't done that myself.  I say, $30 well spent.  Divorce can get ugly fast

darkadams00

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2014, 10:59:03 PM »
1) Eliminate all shared finances (i.e. bank/credit/debit accounts) immediately if possible. Shared credit cards and joint debt, such as cars and houses, are more difficult to eliminate until your divorce is complete. Your lawyer should be able to give you the best advice with joint accounts/debt.

2) Credit freeze immediately. If you're managing your money correctly, you should know in advance if you need access to credit or a credit check. You can unfreeze for a short period and then refreeze afterwards.

3) Check all three credit reports now to get a baseline before you have any suspicion of any actual wrongful activity. Then start checking your credit report regularly by checking one of the three reports each quarter.

4) Name change is a last resort and probably not very effective. Unless you're moving and cutting all social contacts, he still has your SSN and DOB. He could possibly find your new name via social media/Google if you post anywhere online with your name, especially if you keep several of the same friends online. Your mother's maiden name would only be useful if he were trying to answer security questions for an existing account. It's not usually required to open a new account.


ichangedmyname

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2014, 01:57:54 AM »
Thank you all.

I'm taking this one step at a time. My whole life got turned upside down but I'm hanging in there. Thank you.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2014, 06:02:50 AM »
Good luck!

I'll +1 the credit freeze.

In regards to the mothers maiden name, nothing says that your answers to security questions have to be true. In fact, it's much more secure to come up with a false answer that you can remember. That way no one can find the answer via Google or social media.

ender

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2014, 06:56:08 AM »
I pay something like $60/year for identity theft insurance - basically, if someone starts using my identity they will do the work to resolve it.

It's not just credit monitoring/etc but actually a "we will fix the problem if it happens" thing.

YMMV but for me this is a lot of peace of mind.

NCGal

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Re: Scared of Identity Theft
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2014, 12:46:37 PM »
In some states it costs nothing to freeze or unfreeze with credit bureaus. You can also find out which of the three will be used for verification and unfreeze just that one.

Have you used a credit card at Home Depot during the last few months? It looks like they`re offering some kind of free identity protection to anyone who has.