Author Topic: Stolen personal info  (Read 1435 times)

OzzieandHarriet

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Stolen personal info
« on: September 07, 2021, 09:03:09 PM »
In today's snail mail, I got letters from my state department of labor informing me that they received my application for unemployment benefits and I am ineligible, but may be eligible for pandemic insurance benefits if I provide proof of a couple of things. BUT ... I didn't apply for this, of course. So someone got hold of my name, address, date of birth, social security number, and an old phone number. I called the DOL and they told me they had already flagged this for fraud because when the person was asked for supporting documentation they didn't respond (because of course they didn't have it), but they weren't much help otherwise. They did tell me the person provided a fake gmail address, and they told me what it was.

So ... what do I do? I want to freeze my credit for sure, but what other entities do I need to notify? Banks, credit card holders? Should I be really worried about this? (Well, I am.)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2021, 11:44:09 PM »
No point in losing sleep over this.  Your identity, and virtually everyone else's, has been stolen many times already. These things become a problem only when they are ignored. Literally tens of thousands of people get impersonated in one way or another every single day.

Just keep an eye on your business. Open your mail. Check your credit report every now and then. Increase the security of your accounts (hint: 2FA on everything of value). And you know, follow up when something is amiss.




FLBiker

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2021, 05:17:09 AM »
Agreed -- I wouldn't worry overly much about this.  It happened to me several years ago (I got a phone call about a bank account I had purportedly tried to open).  I went to the police, they did nothing.  I didn't do a credit freeze, but I did do a credit alert where I every time my credit was pulled they would contact me.  Nothing else came of it.  They're really looking for low hanging fruit, so as long as you stay on top of things and they aren't actually getting anything, they'll move on to someone else.

And then last year, my bank account was hacked.  I got a log in text message when I wasn't logging in.  Again, it wasn't a huge deal -- I called the bank and they made me a new one with a different username and PW, and I haven't had any further problems.  I agree with having 2FA on everything, but at the same time this account already had 2FA on it.  Text messages are less secure than an authenticator app, but that doesn't work with everyone.

I totally agree with Paul that all of our personal data is available.  The best protection is 1) paying attention to what is happening in our accounts and 2) being (at least in my case) anonymous and unimportant.

yachi

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2021, 06:54:33 AM »
If you know your real social security number was used, you should contact the IRS to get an identity protection PIN : https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin That will prevent someone from filing taxes in your name.  Scammers could file a faked tax return claiming a tax credit is due using your social security number.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2021, 08:51:48 AM »
If you know your real social security number was used, you should contact the IRS to get an identity protection PIN : https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin That will prevent someone from filing taxes in your name.  Scammers could file a faked tax return claiming a tax credit is due using your social security number.

Iíve tried to set this up a number of times in the past and have not been able to get through the process. I donít know what the problem is, but I get in an endless loop where login fails, they send me a confirmation number in the mail on a piece of paper, I try to use it, login fails, etc.

Sibley

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2021, 08:57:10 AM »
You may also want to give your employer (if any) a heads up, just in case they get a contact.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2021, 10:26:36 AM »
I'm basically retired, though I'm self-employed (minimally) as a contractor for a nonprofit and my own (very, very) small business.

I don't know which thing to do first. My experience contacting the three credit report companies is that it's a nightmare of winding through their attempts to get you to pay them for the privilege.

There really ought to be a better way to do this stuff.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2021, 10:37:07 AM »
I'm basically retired, though I'm self-employed (minimally) as a contractor for a nonprofit and my own (very, very) small business.

I don't know which thing to do first. My experience contacting the three credit report companies is that it's a nightmare of winding through their attempts to get you to pay them for the privilege.

There really ought to be a better way to do this stuff.
Behold the power of writing like a dangerous professional.

Applicable in virtually any grown up conflict, not just credit reporting, BTW.

American GenX

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2021, 08:19:50 PM »

This happened to me and many others at my employer, and a very large number of people on my state.

I took the recommended steps recommended by my employer about who to contact.

I did freeze my credit, setup a fraud alert, and continue to monitor my credit.

I have thought about setting up PINs for federal and state taxes but haven't done that, yet.

Someone I work with said that someone was able to get money under the claim that the fraudster made in their name, which happened about a year earlier than with me.  I was told nothing was paid out on the claim made under my name.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2021, 10:18:46 AM »
I just tried to set up a fraud alert or credit freeze with the three credit companies. They make it damned difficult if you donít sign up for a paid membership. No success so far.

yachi

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2021, 12:57:38 PM »
Here's information for Experian:
Experian Fraud Alert: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
Experian Security Freeze: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html


yachi

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2021, 01:05:36 PM »
Here's information for transunion:
Fraud Alert: https://www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts
Credit Freeze: https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze

yachi

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2021, 01:10:04 PM »
Here's information for Equifax:
Fraud Alert: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/
Credit Freeze: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/

I find from these links it's easy to get the free job done.  I followed through to the transunion Credit Freeze and I could go all the way with a previous login I have with them.


OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2021, 03:50:30 PM »
@yachi - thanks for the info. It's still all very aggravating because they try to get you to sign up for a paid account, and you have to keep entering your SS# even after you've logged in to your account.

Transunion was the one that crashed on me this morning when I was trying to set up an account.

I am skeptical about the whole thing, frankly.

American GenX

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2021, 04:54:10 PM »

I looked over my notes.

I did a freeze at Transunion online.

But at Experian's site, it would say that it failed to freeze my credit and said I could mail them information needed for that.  Instead, I called Experian at 888-397-3742 and was able to fairly quickly freeze.

My notes show I did a freeze on my Equifax account on phone but then registered with Equifax after-wards.

I read that you only need to do the fraud alert at one of them, but I had already set it up at both Equifax and Experian.  And it's good for one year unless you can meet the requirements for an extended fraud alert.

OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Stolen personal info
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2021, 11:33:47 AM »
I got the fraud alerts set up but havenít done anything else yet. The IRS wonít give you an ID PIN unless youíve already been an victim of theft, not if your data has been compromised but nothing was stolen (probably because as someone here said everyoneís data has been compromised). The one credit report I checked didnít have anything major - there were three possible exposures but one was years ago, the other two last year, and none were with entities that have my SS#.