Author Topic: Identity theft response time  (Read 4189 times)

Travis

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Identity theft response time
« on: May 17, 2014, 05:49:45 PM »
So I'm deployed and my wife emailed me to say that she received a number of "thank you creating an account with us" letters from cell phone carriers and store cards in the last week.  It looks like someone got my name, address, and social security number and opened several accounts in my name.  We're running them down and filing police reports and so far so good.  My next step is to check my credit report.  All of this started around 1 May.  Is that enough time for these mystery accounts to appear on my credit report?  Due to my overseas location annualcreditreport.com won't let me get my report online and a paper or voice request will take 15 days.  Any thoughts or advice?

shuffler

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 07:04:47 PM »

plantingourpennies

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 07:17:03 PM »
Definitely initiate a fraud alert with one of the credit bureaus.  They'll immediately do the same for you at the other two.  File a police report with your home jurisdiction, which depending what state you are in, should allow you to get a 7-year credit alert for free.  The initial alert they give you expires after (I believe) 90 days.  You can decide after that if you want to go with the full credit freeze (requires a pin to "thaw" and is more of a PITA) instead of the credit alert (no pin, theoretically more vulnerable to further fraud without it). 

You'll want to follow up with the FTC (they collect a database of identity fraud), the SSA (here you're looking for income in your name that you didn't create - unemployment or otherwise, though this only gets updated once a year), the IRS (though don't expect any action from the IRS unless a tax return has been filed in your name).  Really, don't expect any of them to do much of anything, but filing the reports create a paper trail that you can refer back to if needed later. 

MDM

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 08:19:05 PM »
So I'm deployed and ... Due to my overseas location annualcreditreport.com won't let me get my report online....  Any thoughts or advice?
Can you use your home address in the USA?  Can you wife log on as you from home?

Sorry to hear the situation - hope you get out with minimal pain.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2014, 09:17:04 PM »
How often do you access new lines of credit? A credit freeze would give big peace of mind.

Rural

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 09:23:20 PM »
You should definitely have a fraud alert put on your credit now. Going forward, you can also have an active-duty alert put on your credit file:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0273-active-duty-alerts



Here's the FTC's guide for military and military families looking to prevent or respond to identity theft:



http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0016-military-identity-theft.pdf

Travis

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 01:45:19 AM »
Thanks for the responses.  I went on Experian's site and initiated the Active Duty credit freeze. 

Travis

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 07:55:42 AM »
Update: Wife was able to get two of the three credit reports. There was an erroneous phone number and a misspelled address, but no credit inquiries from businesses that we weren't already dealing with.  Out of the 3 businesses where fraudulent accounts were opened, one has closed everything and even sent us a letter absolving us of any charges.  The other two froze or deleted the accounts, but want a police report to close their cases.  DW will go to the PD tomorrow to fill it out.  Everything seems to be on track.  The most bothersome aspect of this isn't that someone got my name, address, and social since that can come from anywhere, but they walked into a store with an exact copy of my drivers license to carry this out.

Greg

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 11:45:22 AM »
The most bothersome aspect of this isn't that someone got my name, address, and social since that can come from anywhere, but they walked into a store with an exact copy of my drivers license to carry this out.

That's scary, how'd they do that?  Did someone claiming to be you request a replacement and then watch your mailbox?

Freedom2016

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 12:01:37 PM »
My sister's identity was stolen 15 years ago - professionals robbed their home over the holidays, and based on my sister's checkbook alone, one of the thieves built an identical identity to her that the woman used on and off for 10 years. She had a driver's license in my sister's name (seems she may have had friends in the DMV).

She was increasingly brazen over the years - at one point opening a cell phone account in my sister's name with the password "fraud." She was ultimately taken down by a US Postal Inspector -- get them involved if any articles of mail are involved because that's mail fraud, a federal offense.

Travis

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 12:07:47 PM »
I'm only on the second version of this drivers license and I shredded the previous one.  The mailbox at my last two residences have had locks on them.  If I had to guess the vulnerability was any of the times I've had to give up my license to be photocopied at hotels, car rentals, and a couple other businesses.  They also had my ssn and current address (which isn't on my license).  They put some effort into this.


The local PD told my wife that I had to fill out the police report unless she had a POA.  I went online to look at the form and called their night watch for clarification when I got to work this morning (1100 my time, 0100 Pacific time).  The officer was bewildered that the daytime desk officer would turn her away.  While on the phone he created a case file, gave me his name, and said if they turn her away again today to call him when he gets on shift and he'll come out to the house to take the report.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 12:12:12 PM by Travis »

Can't Wait

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Re: Identity theft response time
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 12:35:23 PM »
I just got done dealing with this exact situation myself. Somebody went around to all the dept stores and opened up credit cards in my name and then maxed them all out right then and there. I've never actually applied for a store credit card before so I'm not sure if they even check for an ID or not when you are applying. I just know that they have these little pamphlets at the registers and you can fill them out in a couple of minutes and hand it to the cashier. Who knows whether the cashier bothers to check for an ID or not. I would imagine some kid making minimum wage couldn't care less about following proper procedures.

Department stores shouldn't allow you to make purchases with the line of credit right there on the spot. I understand that they are giving you that ability as an incentive to purchase but there should be some regulation preventing this. If you had to wait for the card to arrive at the mailing address as an extra layer of security, this form of identity theft could be prevented.