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Anyone else been a victim of identity theft?

  1. Oct 7, 2011 #1
    I just found out someone in my city signed up for phone service using my SS#. I owed $120. I got it cleared up, but it's scary. What else can they do!? :frown:

    I thinking of signing up at http://www.lifelock.com Anyone have opinions of that service?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
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  3. Oct 7, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Oh dear, if they have your soc sec# there is a lot they can do, open bank accounts, get credit cards, take out loans, buy cars...

    I believe that you already have the service that notifies you of any time your credit is checked?

    Not familiar with lifelock.

    Ick. Maybe they're more honest now?

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2010/03/ftc_lifelock.html

    The article is taken from the US Gov website.

    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/03/lifelock.shtm
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  4. Oct 7, 2011 #3

    Borg

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Immeadiately contact [STRIKE]all three[/STRIKE] one of the credit bureaus and file a fraud alert. I'll try to get more details but this is the absolute first thing that you should do. From what I've read in the past, Lifelock doesn't do much more if you're a victim of fraud.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  5. Oct 7, 2011 #4

    turbo

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    I'd hate to be a victim of identity left!!!

    I have left a lot of situations over the years, but never my identity.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2011 #5

    PAllen

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    It's happened to several acquaintances of mine, fortunately not me (worst case was a former teacher of my daughter's who opened a boutique clothing store; the store website was hacked and all business accounts accessed). This provoked me, after resisting an 'overly worried' approach to life, to get shredder and shred all mail, documents etc. that contain any identifying information besides name and address.

    Beyond that, I can only agree with the suggestions so far.
     
  7. Oct 7, 2011 #6

    Borg

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Here's the link to the government's https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp" link on the right has this info:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  8. Oct 7, 2011 #7

    Borg

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    It is also a good idea to regularly check your credit. Anyone can check their credit report for free once per year per bureau. Instead of checking them all at once, I check one of the three every four months. However, if you file a fraud alert, you may be allowed more. From what I read, it allows you to get a credit report immeadiately even if you already had received one that year. The links in the FTC identity theft section have lots of good advice. The best advice is to strike back fast and hard - they will keep using your info otherwise.

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml" site above

    FTC info about http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/".

    Another thing that I would think about is whether you might have had personal information stolen from someplace like Sony. If that's the case, there could be multiple people with your information.

    Good luck Greg. Hopefully you caught this early.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  9. Oct 7, 2011 #8
    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Thanks all! I've placed a Fraud Alert on my file. Hopefully it was just a quick hit and run.
     
  10. Oct 7, 2011 #9

    AlephZero

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    The most worrying thing they can do (and probably will, if they are serious fraudsters) is change your address, so you don't receive any mail that makes you suspicious.

    Of course they won't change it to THEIR real address - most likely, to some property that is long-term unoccupied. After all, they don't plan to pay any of the bills themselves either.
     
  11. Oct 7, 2011 #10
    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    I have. I used to be Warren Buffet until some lowlife took off with my identity.
     
  12. Oct 7, 2011 #11

    jtbell

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    A long time ago, when I was a grad student, someone who lived briefly in the apartment next door to me used my name to sign up for service with the electric company, and I started to get his bills. When my office-mates told me that a big beefy guy had been looking for me, I thought, "uh-oh, a bill collector!" Fortunately it was just one of my students looking for help with homework. And the electric company apparently believed me when I wrote to them explaining that I was in apartment 2B, not 2A.

    (As I recall, the electric service for my apartment was in my roommate's name, not mine.)
     
  13. Oct 7, 2011 #12
    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    I never give out my birthdate or SSN unless it's absolutely required by law, as in a bank account. Used to be everyone would ask you for this information, but most organizations are realizing it's none of their business, particularly with SSNs.
     
  14. Oct 7, 2011 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    The irony here of course, is that Greg is actually on a slow boat to China, with no internet access, and has been for a week.

    So the thief has not just signed up for a phone service but also hacked into his PF account and is now posting about it.

    What we should do (and I know Greg will thank us when he arrives back home) is ban this imposter.

    He will, of course, protest loudly that no, he really is Greg, but we will not be fooled by that.
     
  15. Oct 7, 2011 #14

    rhody

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Can't say for sure Greg, I had a long time friend who I know longer associate with who swears by Lifelock. I have had two minor incidents, with debit card charges, the safest thing to do, is to have a debit account with say 200 - 500 bucks in there, that way they can never get at an account with more. I have been lucky too, but as the world's economies get worse this will happen more often, of that prediction, I am sure.
    Amex is good too, but many business no longer accept it. I bought some expensive jewelry in Jamaica a few years back with Amex. I am so glad I did, use Amex if you can for anything you buy from a foreign country over the internet. They will credit you right away if they try to charge you for something you didn't buy. Amex handles it all, and your card is credited.

    Borg,

    I have been told if you check on your credit score without justifiable cause can lower your credit rating, is there any truth to this, or is it as they say, "an old wives tale" ?

    Rhody... :wink:
     
  16. Oct 7, 2011 #15

    Danger

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    I'm ambidextrous, so I'm half safe; I've been the victim only of "identity right". So far, my left is okay. (And people thought that I was nuts for keeping two separate bank accounts... :rolleyes:)

    edit: Greg, you bastard... does owning this site really make you feel comfortable with editing your thread title to the detriment of we who were deriding you about it? :tongue:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  17. Oct 7, 2011 #16

    256bits

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    The latest victims, it was reported in the newspaper recently, are children. As a child has no use of their SSN until about 16 years of age the theft will most likely go undetected for years, at which point they find their credit rating has gone way south.

    In fact, a 6 year old received a credit card in the mail a few months back in Montreal area. How to protect - I have no idea except to try to keep personnal information safe and secure as possible. And do not make a text list on your computer in Excel or likewise progams of personnal information if that computer is internet connected as bots look for that stuff.
     
  18. Oct 7, 2011 #17
    Oh I am glad our Overlord got this cleared up before the thief realized His true powers !
     
  19. Oct 7, 2011 #18

    Danger

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  20. Oct 8, 2011 #19

    Borg

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Rhody,

    My understanding is that it doesn't affect your score. You might be thinking of credit checks done by a business such as when you apply for a car loan. Those do affect your score and they show up on the report in a separate section.

    BTW, I have seen occasional pings from companies that I do business with. I have called them on those occasions and have been given various excuses for why they do it. However, if I see a ping from a company that I've never done business with, I would immeadiately contact their fraud department.

    Borg
     
  21. Oct 8, 2011 #20

    Lisa!

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    hmmm...so that's why I've lost all of my PF PMs!:devil::biggrin:
     
  22. Oct 8, 2011 #21
    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    So if you flail both left and right, we're all ok.

    My Earth 2 just said, "Security alert."

    Ok, so,
     
  23. Oct 8, 2011 #22

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    Ooh. Dan just dropped out.


    Dibs on his TV!
     
  24. Oct 8, 2011 #23

    G01

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    I know what it feels like, Greg. I actually just had my debit card stolen and used for some $300 dollar purchase in Hong Kong. Luckily my bank was able to refund the money to me.

    It was a very disturbing experience, and I still feel uneasy about the whole thing.
     
  25. Oct 8, 2011 #24

    Danger

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    Re: Anyone else been a victim of identity left?

    If what you mean by "flail" is the same as my definition, then we are not all ok. The rest of you are, but not me. Do you have any idea of how frustrating it is to not be able to use your other hand and pretend that it's a stranger? Not even a coloured condom full of gummy worms can make the illusion believable. (Don't ask me how I know that. :grumpy:)
     
  26. Oct 8, 2011 #25

    mathwonk

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    5 years ago I received a dun for a bill owed to dish network, by a man with my same first and last name, but of a different race, age, and living in a different town. The collection agency claimed that he had used my SS# to establish the account and I needed to send them a lot of personal information to clear this up, which I refused. It turned out he was still then living at the address where the service had been ordered and installed 65 miles away from my home.

    After a lengthy hassle, I learned that my name had not been used to establish the account, but had been added to the account by the collection agency. How they got it I do not know, but apparently this sort of thing is easy to do. The police advised me that these collection agencies do not care who they collect from, and by threatening my credit rating they hoped to scare me into paying it.

    I am a very tough and persistent customer however, and eventually reached the home office of dish network in colorado to get the truth. At every level every single person I spoke to claimed falsely that the SS# had been on the original application for service, until a supervisor in colorado actually looked at the application.

    Last spring, 5 years later, I began again receiving robocalls every morning about this same bill, from a new collection agency, again claiming that because my actual SS# was on the account it meant I had applied for the service. These negotiations are especially tricky because they claim you need to tell them your real social security number so they can compare it to the one they have, and these are people who are trying to cheat and defraud you, who are asking you to trust them with your SS#.

    Although I had considered the matter ended in 2006, luckily I was able to recover the diary I had written at the time of this experience, and again called colorado and used the name of the same supervisor who had "settled" the matter before.
    Again they claimed they had not given my SS# to the collection agency, while the agency claimed they had indeed obtained it from dish network as part of the account. This time I complained to the state consumer protection agency who said there was nothing they could do unless I filed a claim so I did. Then I got a letter from the agency suggesting I contact dish network to resolve the issue!

    I was assured by dish I would not hear from this again. We will see. Needless to say I do not patronize dish network, but with several billion in sales yearly they apparently do not worry much about the rights or concerns of individuals. (I do not recommend giving your personal information to lifelock, after googling them for reliability ratings, and finding the same hit Evo did.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
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