General Question

ebenezer's avatar

Has anyone had their identity stolen by someone outside of their family?

Asked by ebenezer (1457points) May 12th, 2008 from iPhone

I thought there was a good chance I was wiped clean. Fortunately it was resolved the next morning. My identity is still intact. I hope. But I am definitely going to pay more attention. It is a sinking feeling thinking you have been ripped off by an anonymous void.

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11 Answers

Allie's avatar

Just to let you know, I have heard that once you’ve had your identity stolen it is never safe again. Your numbers and other information are out there now and probably for a long while afterwards.. if not forever.
I hope this isn’t true, but I fear it is.

psyla's avatar

Freeze all your credit reports so that no new accounts can be opened in your name. Google it. You have to mail a letter to TransUnion and Experian. Equifax actually sells the service. Why get a credit repair service if you can stop further damage before it’s done.

cheebdragon's avatar

My credit could only go up…...

psyla's avatar

Not a target, there’s larger fish to fry.

sndfreQ's avatar

Yes and it’s a shitty situation to be in; I would recommend investing in a credit report tracking service (there are many out there, if you google); sounds like a bit of extra time and resources up front, but worth it. And second on the above comments.

Lastly, invest in a good paper/credit card shredder and be vigilant and diligent.

whatthefluther's avatar

I’m a victim of identity theft. Yes, there was someone out there masquerading as me and using my social security number, but let me assure you there is only one true whatthefluther and it is indeed me. Seriously, I am a victim and someone used my real name and SSN presumably obtained from the wonderful hackers who compromised the UCLA Alumni database (you may have heard about this in news reports a couple of years ago…I am a UCLA graduate and member of the Alumni Association). It was caught early in the game. Bank of America was suspicious of a credit card application and contacted me. I pored over my credit report with all three credit report agencies, put all three on alert and cancelled several pending credit cards which I had not requested. I also had the fraudulent second address the thief had added in my name removed from my report. I then contacted all the financial institutions I did business with, as well as vendors with whom I had established credit. The only actual charges were for a phone service for $300 which was written off by that company after receiving my statemernt and of course, they cancelled the phone service. I filed police reports in the city used by the thief and my local police department as well as notifying the FBI as was recommended by the UCLA Alumni Association. The police reports allowed me to place a permanent alert on my credit reports requiring that I be contacted directly to confirm any credit requests. Its a horrible feeling knowing someone is out there using your identity and can destroy your credibility. And it was a time consuming, pain in the ass process to stop it and clean up their fraudulent deeds. I was very lucky it was caught early. Unfortunately, no suspects were apprehended to my knowledge. To say the least, it was a very unpleasant situation, and one I would never wish on anybody.

psyla's avatar

The way most businesses don’t care if the person’s identity is real or not makes me believe Big Business will be similar to what was portrayed in Star Wars “Attack of the Clones”.

psyla's avatar

American Auto Dealers tried to block the ability of consumers to freeze/lock distribution of credit reports because they felt it would hurt car sales. Auto Dealers didn’t want consumers to be able to protect their identitys from fraud. They didn’t care. Who cares if people’s reputations and lives are destroyed, what’s important is Auto Sales.

sndfreQ's avatar

I can imagine that what psyla’s saying may have some truth to it, however, I haven’t seen any hard evidence of that. What I did find, however, is that currently there are 41 states that have passed laws to enable consumers to freeze credit report access, which you can do for yourself now (Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia do not yet have this law in place).

In most states, it’s referred to as a “security freeze”; you can see the details here.

icanhearyou's avatar

On two different occasions I have had someone open a cell phone account in my name, run up a bill of about $400+ and of course, not pay it. I didn’t even realize this had happened until I applied for a loan and got denied.

The second time, I found out when I got a call from a collection agency. Both times were several years ago and I had never even had a cell phone at that point!!!

Prevent Identity Theft

cheebdragon's avatar

I don’t exist on the Internet

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