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SippyCup
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Sep 2008
3262 posts

Identity theft - what next?
I figured they would get me one day and now they have.

Received credit and debit cards from Chase Bank in the mail on Friday. I have never had a Chase account in my life. Pulled up the credit report and had several hard inquiries from Clarity services for lines of credit through Advanced America.

I called chase to close the accounts and then all 3 credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on and a freeze (for 1 year) on my report. Called clarity services to do the same. I cant put a freeze any longer than one year without a police report. Now I've been on hold with advance america for over 20 minutes.

Any other steps I need to take?

Edit: So no loans have been approved by advance america but they cant tell me how many times someone applied....I can see 4 hard inquiries on my report.
This post was edited on 12/2 at 1:22 pm


TDsngumbo
USA Fan
Member since Oct 2011
20292 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
Steal your own identity back.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10059 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
Change all of your online account passwords.


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Queen
LSU Fan
383 miles from Death Valley
Member since Nov 2009
2928 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
Someone got ahold of my SSN and applied for 10+ credit cards. Found out after I received something in the mail from a store I didn't order (their attempt to make me look complicit). Checked my report and had close to a dozen inquiries within a week-ish timeframe. One successful card opened and charged close to $5k.

Important notes:
- A fraud alert (which is the one year limit thing) is NOT the same as a freeze. A freeze is different for each bureau (which is annoying), and you have to have a PIN number to unfreeze anytime you want to apply for credit. It lasts until you remove it, no one year limits. Click here to learn about freezing with Experian. Click here to learn about freezing with Equifax. Click here to learn about freezing your credit with TransUnion. I use a secure password manager to have different long/complicated passwords for every account of mine, and there's a secure notes section there. If you have one of these, it is a good place to keep your PINs without using something easy to find like a note in your phone. Personal experience says TransUnion is the easiest one to deal with re: turning it on and off. But you do need to freeze with all three if you're going to freeze.

- File a police report. Of course they won't find the person responsible, but it's required to get all this off your own credit and to get any already-approved cards canceled. Your local sheriff's office is fine for this. You'll need a copy of the report. This report will also allow you to extend a fraud alert on your credit for up to seven years.

- Freeze your credit, but once you finish your own stuff, look into freezing credit for any minor children you have. Each bureau has their own process (and it's a huge hassle) but it will keep your kids' credit from being wrecked before they're even old enough to apply for a credit card or an apartment lease or car loan or whatever. It involves scans of their SS cards, birth certificates to approve your guardianship, your own ID, maybe a letter. The freeze will last until they are 16 or 18 (depending on bureau) or until you request it be unfrozen. Basically they'll scan their systems for any credit lines under that SSN (which you can dispute if they find any) and create an account just to freeze if they need to.

- You can request that large banks like Clarity flag your SSN and not issue credit for any of the store cards they oversee. I had an issue prior to the actual ID theft where someone applied for an Amazon credit card by Synchrony. The ID thieves tried three different store cards with Synchrony a few years later, and Synchrony wouldn't approve the applications until they spoke to me on the phone first. I said it wasn't me, they denied the cards outright. I requested the same flag from every other bank in my theft case.

- You will have to contact any banks that had apps and dispute them. It's a pain. But they'll do an "investigation" if any charges were made on the card(s). They'll probably say there's no evidence it wasn't you and you'll have to escalate. It took me three times (including with my police report) to get them to waive the $5k the ID thieves charged on the only card they got away with.

- The banks/stores responsible for the cards should report to the credit bureaus that the inquiry was fraudulent so it can be removed from your credit report and any dings to your score can be corrected. I had to wind up disputing the inquiries on my own with the credit bureaus after the banks did nothing for 30 days. I think only one bank did the right thing, and everyone else dragged their feet until I did it myself.

It sucks. Get a password manager so you can make sure to have different strong passwords for everything. My password manager saved me just this weekend. Someone tried to hack my Walmart.com account but couldn't get into my email inbox to get the forgot password code. Turn on two-factor authentication for anything you can. If your bank offers credit monitoring (many do now) use it.


SippyCup
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Sep 2008
3262 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
Thanks. This is what I was looking for. I figured it was going to be a pain in the ass.



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Spirit of Dunson
Columbia Fan
Member since Mar 2007
22969 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
This post is great. Thanks for taking the time.


Queen
LSU Fan
383 miles from Death Valley
Member since Nov 2009
2928 posts

re: Identity theft - what next?
One of the most frustrating times of my life. And I find most people don't know anything about freezing minors' credit, so I constantly tell anyone who will listen about it!



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