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  1. #1
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    Default Identity theft - Please Help!

    Just heard a close friend (also live in NY state) became a victim of identity theft.

    She received a letter from Chase (First USA), and the Fraud Operation department informed her that someone was using her information to open a credit card. Once this person trying to do a large amount of balance transfer, it caught the bank's attention, and they issued the letter to my friend to verify. It appears, that the person only got my friend's name and SS#, but not birthday. After the confirmation, Chase closed the account, and suggest my friend to turn on the fraud alert as well as get a police report.

    She just ordered credit reports from all 3 credit bureau, and so far, no negative records showing. However, it appears the past month or so, quite a few credit card companies checked her record, and we suspect that the person might trying to apply (or, already applied) for multiple credit cards.

    She is working on to active her Fraud alert, and will file a police report tomorrow. Of course, if the case becomes crazy, she's ready to hire a lawyer to help herself out, if necessary.

    As of today, seems it's an isolated case for now. However, we just wonder, if any additional things we can do at this moment, while waiting for the bank/police investigation (if they actually do it).

    So far, her plan is to file the police report and turn on the fraud alert. Then, hopefully there's no other issues. It's been very frustrating for us as individuals to deal with all the agencies, as we don't have many hard written proofs, as the bank did not really losing $$$ at this moment. We can only suspect things, and getting frustrated by all the "automatic system". It's seems impossible to find a human being, who wants to listen to our stories, and everyone thinks she's just "thinking too much".

    On top of this, she plan to write a less to state attorney general, and hopefully get some reply. She will use the reply as a record, in case any other things going wrong in the future.

    Feel free to provide any information advice. Many thanks in advance!
    Last edited by LazyBuddy; 09-03-2007 at 12:49 PM.

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    This is what the UK government recommends in such cases : http://www.identity-theft.org.uk/what-if.htm

    If I were your friend I would write to all the credit card companies that carried out those checks and say that I did not request a card. In other words put the companies on notice that the applications were fradulent (this is in case any of the applications were succesful).

    I would also start shredding any confidential information rather than placing it in my dustbin just in case the fraudster tries to go through my dustbin.

    Can you change your SS number?

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    Things like this are starting to happen more frequently due to the increasing personal information flow online as well as dependance on credit and bank cards. I recall Equifax or another company losing many personal data due to intrusion into their office. It's a scary world out there and it's getting scarier. Only thing to prevent it from happening to you is be vigilant with your cards and finance records/bills. Shred bills that are over three years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cappy75 View Post
    Things like this are starting to happen more frequently due to the increasing personal information flow online as well as dependance on credit and bank cards. I recall Equifax or another company losing many personal data due to intrusion into their office. It's a scary world out there and it's getting scarier. Only thing to prevent it from happening to you is be vigilant with your cards and finance records/bills. Shred bills that are over three years old.
    I agree. Actually myself got into some other possible scams, which is also under investigation now. It's indeed a crazy world. All the record and laws are written to protect the big companies or agencies, as us individuals, we got left and die. Even if you try to report things, mostly you will get into an "automic system", and you can speak to nobody.

    If you are identified as a victim, you might be lucky, as there's special contact number or person you can speak with. If you just try to do something to prevent further damage, you end up no where, as everyone simply say, "thanks, but you don't have any record with us, can't help"...

    Ok, so, if no record, they don't want to listen to you. Once there's bad records, they don't believe u, or ignore you, and ask you for $$$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscourt View Post
    This is what the UK government recommends in such cases : http://www.identity-theft.org.uk/what-if.htm

    If I were your friend I would write to all the credit card companies that carried out those checks and say that I did not request a card. In other words put the companies on notice that the applications were fradulent (this is in case any of the applications were succesful).

    I would also start shredding any confidential information rather than placing it in my dustbin just in case the fraudster tries to go through my dustbin.

    Can you change your SS number?
    Thanks for the info, but we can't change the SS number, as it goes with your life.

    We are trying to contact the other companies, but getting very frustrated. Since we are not the customer yet, we don't have a particular ppl to speak withh. They either ask a lot of personal information (we don't feel comfortable to provide), or simply say, "no record now, no help".

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    The SS number by law is to be used by the government and tax related matter. As u know companies demand the SS # from us for ID relating to retail credit cards and other business transaction. In canada, it is just as bad if not worse. I know we have more active SS numbers out there than the population of canada. This is a fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooler View Post
    The SS number by law is to be used by the government and tax related matter. As u know companies demand the SS # from us for ID relating to retail credit cards and other business transaction. In canada, it is just as bad if not worse. I know we have more active SS numbers out there than the population of canada. This is a fact.
    It's also too bad that people who process credit card applications are often those who are temp workers @ min. wage looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck or two with stolen information.

    The laws in Canada are too laid back and needs to be reinforced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staples View Post
    It's also too bad that people who process credit card applications are often those who are temp workers @ min. wage looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck or two with stolen information.

    The laws in Canada are too laid back and needs to be reinforced.
    I totally agree.

    When the credit card company receives "phishy" applications, they taking a chance to issue a card. They are taking our chances, as if something is really wrong later on, we are the ones getting screwed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyBuddy View Post
    Thanks for the info, but we can't change the SS number, as it goes with your life.

    We are trying to contact the other companies, but getting very frustrated. Since we are not the customer yet, we don't have a particular ppl to speak withh. They either ask a lot of personal information (we don't feel comfortable to provide), or simply say, "no record now, no help".
    The scenario to avoid is obviously these companies getting back to you in 2 months saying "You owe us $5000 on your credit card". You will then need to prove that it was not your friend who asked for the card. Put it all in writing and send it to their HQ now by recorded mail and you have evidence that you can use in future to show you did not apply for the card.

    It's a nasty position to be in and I don't envy you! Hope it all gets resolved soon.

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    Default Proactive, Preventative, and Peace of Mind

    This should be your ultimate objective when it comes to identity theft. This is the fastest growing pandemic in the world. Someone every 4 seconds becomes a victim and it's expected that ID theft will grow 20 times over the next 20 months.

    Having shared this, a credit report unfortunately will not share with you whether you SSN#, DMV records, medical records, or your address is being used by someone else.

    The only way to be proactive against someone stealing your identity is a preventative measure - monitoring and restoration - 24/7. This will give you the peace of mind that no one in the world is using your good name for bad things.

    It's really not that expensive, is a lot less expensive than a credit monitoring service, and is the only preventative service that monitors your entire identity, not just your financial.

    In the US and Canada only - feel free to contact me for more info.

    Andi Van Gogh
    Licensed Consultant
    adrs_lhg@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by crosscourt View Post
    The scenario to avoid is obviously these companies getting back to you in 2 months saying "You owe us $5000 on your credit card". You will then need to prove that it was not your friend who asked for the card. Put it all in writing and send it to their HQ now by recorded mail and you have evidence that you can use in future to show you did not apply for the card.

    It's a nasty position to be in and I don't envy you! Hope it all gets resolved soon.
    Good suggestion. My friend told me that she would contact the companies by phone 1st, to avoid any immediate damage. I will forward your suggestion to her, and see whether she would like to put everything in writing to maintain a record.

    Note: Not to question about you advice, however, even if we use registered mail, how we going to prove the contents of the letter? I mean, they can say, yes, we recieved your letter, but it's not regarding to this matter. Or, to be worse, they can even claim that's the application? Hope that they are not this nasty and smart. Of course, if they reply with their official letter, indicates the warning is recevied, then it's much easier of a case. However, they mostly won't issue such letters, I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyBuddy View Post
    Good suggestion. My friend told me that she would contact the companies by phone 1st, to avoid any immediate damage. I will forward your suggestion to her, and see whether she would like to put everything in writing to maintain a record.

    Note: Not to question about you advice, however, even if we use registered mail, how we going to prove the contents of the letter? I mean, they can say, yes, we recieved your letter, but it's not regarding to this matter. Or, to be worse, they can even claim that's the application? Hope that they are not this nasty and smart. Of course, if they reply with their official letter, indicates the warning is recevied, then it's much easier of a case. However, they mostly won't issue such letters, I suppose.
    It's true there's no way to prove what was sent in a letter.

    You can try to have someone (preferably with some authority) to authenticate your letter's contents. I don't know how this will turn out in a court hearing (if it does get that far).

    I don't think those collection agencies will acknowledge the receipt of your letter with an official reply, since they will want to leave a back door opening for them to chew you up. It is up to your side to prove that you sent the letter.

    At the very end, you might want to hire a lawyer to send out some official letters at the early stage which is now for your friend.

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