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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Mail Scams for Stealing Identities

Sep 30


Here’s a crazy case that we’ve never heard of before.

A consumer recently received a letter in the mail from his credit card company recommending that he sign up for identity theft protection. Hearing so much about the growing risk of identity theft, he filled out the paperwork and returned it. The form requested specific personal details including name, address, Social Security number, etc.

One week later, the consumer’s wife received the same letter in the mail. This time though, she was suspicious. She took the letter to her credit card company where she was told the letter was a fake.

Someone, probably from inside the company, had been mailing out these forms in an attempt to gain information and steal identities. The couple called whose fraud resolution agents helped them take all the necessary steps including filing for an identity theft police report, in addition to, helping with notifying the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Social Security Administration office (SSA). Their risk for identity theft may have decreased because they signed up for credit monitoring and they will be notified if someone tries to open new accounts or lines of credit in their name. Also, they will be emailed if someone requests an address change on any of their current accounts, one of the most common tactics identity thieves use.

I say this all the time, but it is really true. There’s no surefire way to protect yourselves against identity theft. The best you can do is limit damages by discovering the problem quickly and having an identity monitoring product whose experts know exactly what to do and who to call if it does happen to you.