View Full Version : important info about credit fraud...

09-24-2002, 01:01 PM
AAAAAAAAAH. You hear about this all the time, but never think it will happen to you. A couple months ago our credit card number was used to purchase over $2000 in airline tickets. Citibank was really great about it and we got that whole mess cleaned up. Last Wednesday we got a call from a Jewelry Store in Southern Cal (we live in the Bay Area, abt 6 hours away) asking if we had applied for credit there. As lovely as a new ring would be ;), the answer was definitely no. One thing led to the next and...

It turns out someone has dh's social security name, has created a fake id, and spent last week applying for, and spending, credit at several stores. So far at that jewelry store, a furniture store, sears, radio shack, macy's, etc. We keep getting credit cards in the mail.

The credit checker was really nice and she gave us the numbers of the credit bureaus to call right away, which we did. We now have fraud alerts with all three. I thought I'd include their names and numbers, in case anyone else ever runs into this (knock on wood):

Transunion - 800-680-7289
Experion - 800-831-5614
Equifax - 800-525-6285

The other interesting thing is that you can have them remove you from all marketing lists so that for the next 2 years we won't get any of those pre-approved cards in the mail (something that has always made me mad - anyone could pick that up and use it!). Anyone could do this - I've told my mom and sister, and they're going to call.

Sorry so long and it isn't really baby relate -- this just makes me so mad that I'm trying to tell everyone so people can protect themselves. I've had to go to my bank and charles schwab, besides calling citibank and putting fraud alerts and restrictions on all our accounts. HUGE pain. We're working with the bureaus and local law enforcement to catch this guy. Identity theft, who woulda known.

ps - and on top of that, I went to get a pork roast ready last night to cook all day for sandwiches tonight, and it had the most awful smell ever (rotten eggs times 100). so now i have to go back to albertson's and exchange it. talk about kicking you while you're down...

thanks for listening,

09-24-2002, 09:50 PM
That really stinks about the identity fraud :(, and the pot roast. I don't mean to scare you but I saw something on 20/20 a month or so ago and it said the Albertson's got in deep trouble for repackaging and reselling expired meat. Ex it expires today and it hasn't sold so the slap another label on with a sell by date of next week. :eek Just wanted to let ya know becareful shopping there for meat.

09-24-2002, 11:27 PM
I saw the same thing - I've carefully examined my meats since then, but this was one of those pre-packaged roasts (John Morrel, or something like that - some come pre-marinated) and it *looked* pink and healthy. I'm not sure where the pre-packaging takes place, but it's not the usual styrofoam tray and plastic. So much for that. dh took one whiff and said, "Hello ecoli!" Scary.

09-25-2002, 01:00 PM
I'm so sorry you are going through this! Thank you for the phone numbers, I'm going to have us removed from those pre-approved lists. We're moving, and I would be the new owners will get some of our old mail. I'd hate for them to do something unscrupulous.

BTW, I shop at Albertsons, too. I was disappointed when seeing that report. We mostly buy our meat at Costco now.

Mommy to Jonah

10-06-2002, 12:57 AM
This has been such a pain in the neck, but I thought I'd pass on some more info. Besides the three credit bureaus I listed above (call to have a fraud alert put on your social security number - they'll send you a free credit report and anytime someone applies for credit using your ssn, the issuing creditor will have to verify by calling you at home), you can also have yourself removed from all mail lists or calls lists (this is supposed to eliminate most telemarketing calls , though they don't guarantee local merchants) by writing to the following:

Telephone Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014

Mail Preference Service
c/o Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008

Request them to add you to their "Do Not Call" or "Do Not Mail" list. Include your name, address, and phone number. You will be on the list for 5 years.

In talking to my guy at Charles Schwab, he said they just got an internal memo about identity theft and there were some scary statistics. 1 in 10 people are affected. Right now, 500,000 people fall victim. In three years that number is expected to triple. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Usually by the time the victim finds out their identity has been used, it has been 14 months since the initial fraud. By then, they have over $18,000 in debt under their name. They will spend close to 60 hours resolving the matter, and $880 out of their own pocket to restore their credit.

So far we have spent 16 hours and only $30. But then, we only have a few thousand in our names. Just trying to help you avoid the mess we're going through. Protect yourself!