The purpose of this fraud case story series is to educate people about the real-life ways that identities are stolen without revealing confidential information or the names of the people who have been affected.
Keep in mind, these stories are true (although I have omitted specific details for our members’ protection) and are described by real Fraud Resolution Agents. We recommend reading these cases for educational purposes and learning ways to protect yourself against identity theft.
While overseas on a trip, the victim thought it would be safe to hide his credit cards, check book, and Social Security card in the glove compartment of his car. He locked it in what he thought was a secure garage, grabbed his bags and departed for a refreshing vacation. After two weeks in the sun, he felt recharged and ready to face life, but his vacation couldn’t have prepared him for what he faced when he walked into the “secure” garage. An empty spot and some broken glass was all he found when he approached where he’d left his car.
Apparently, the theft had happened the day he arrived back. As a member of ProtectMyID.com™, he soon after began receiving alerts to changes on his credit reports. He knew he hadn’t authorized these changes and immediately called the Fraud Resolution hotline for assistance.
The Fraud Resolution Agent helped the victim quickly take control of the situation, facilitating conference calls with his credit card and banking institutions to close his existing accounts and open new ones. The agent further helped him place fraud alerts, file an identity theft police report, and walked him through the process of disputing the criminal’s activity that had been reported on his credit reports. After all was said and done, he was able to reclaim his good name and get back to life without having to go through the process alone.
As an identity theft victim advocate I recommend the following tips if you find yourself in a situation like this:
1. Contact the Social Security Administration in writing or by phone to report the theft of your Social Security card.
Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235
1 (800) 269-0271
2. Contact Consumer Debit Resource at (888) 478-6536 or go to https://www.consumerdebit.com/consumerinfo/us/en/index.htm to report stolen checks or Identity Theft. You can place a security alert for stolen checks or third party fraud on your ChexSystems consumer report.
Look out for the next fraud case story posting on 2/19/2010.