Oh man, where do I begin? I have been fighting this for years. The first incident occurred about 8 years ago when someone used my info to open up a cell phone account. They also purchased about $700.00 in jewelry, some gas, and a few other things. I got this cleared up, but didn't realize at the time how bad it could get. ID THEFT VICTIM STORY
In 1997, I had my mail stolen from outside my house. I didn't realize it at the time but eventually started getting late notices from my utility companies and credit card company. I also had a student loan payment in the mail so they got my SSN. Eventually, the fun started.
The first thing that happened was that someone opened a telephone account in my name. This went unnoticed until I moved and tried to hook up my phone -- the rep told me that I already had a phone, and was this an additional line?
Next, my wife and I had bought a couch from Sears and opened a credit card account. About 2 months later I get a call from the Sears fraud department. Someone had tried to establish credit with Sears using my info. Thanks to Sears paying attention, this guy was not able to open the account. At this point, I called all of the credit reporting agencies and put flags on all of them stating that I must be called at home before credit can be granted.
The final incident happened last year and was kind of strange. Someone used my info to get a driver's license in my name. They opened an account with Dell Computers and bought about 8,000 dollars worth of equipment. The funny thing is, they made payments on the stuff for about 2 years. The reason I got called was because a collection agency was trying to collect. That took about a month to clear up.
I have filed police reports in 3 different cities in the area, and as I mentioned before, placed alerts on my credit report. It must be working as I am in the process of buying a house and my credit score is a 790. The mortgage broker says that he sees about 2% of his clients with credit like mine.
Please, if you are a victim of credit fraud contact the credit agencies immediately and place an alert on your report. Next, file a report with the police department. Also, if you are a victim of identity theft you are entitled to free copies of your credit reports.
Story submitted on: 2003-04-30 00:00:00.0.