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Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Apparently as part of the many divestitures and acquisitions, my info ended up in the fidelity laptop retirement database that was stolen last month. Social, account info, date of birth, etc. Swell.

The good news is that they're offering free credit watch monitoring, although the letter doesnt say for how long. I'm going to guess a year.

If you ever worked for a company that bought or sold a business or division to anyone who bought or sold a business or division to HP...So Intel, Digital, Compaq, etc...you might want to pull one of your free credit reports and check it out.

The letter advises going to equifax and signing up for their 'credit watch gold 3-in-1' product, and using a supplied promo code to get active credit monitoring, and placing a fraud alert on your credit reports by calling 877-478-7625.

Allegedly this information was on a laptop that was stolen from a business meeting where the data "was needed for the meeting". Any info they had on me was at least 5 or more years past any expiry; thats when I removed my last retirement funds from any company sponsored retirement plan.

I wonder how many more times this comes up as companies refuse to delete old, worthless employee and customer information.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 12:50 PM   #2
 
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Related to identity theft...

I put a security freeze on our credit reports. This is something you can do in some states. No one can get our information from the credit bureaus unless we specifically allow it.

It cost $10 for each of the three bureaus for DW and me ($60 total). Doesn't seem reasonable to have to pay someone to keep them from giving out information about you, but that's how it is.

The disadvantage, apart from the $60, is that it would cost us $10 to allow the info to be released if we wanted to take out a loan or buy a car on credit. Not likely to happen.

Advantage is that when the news media puts out their dire warnings about identity theft we can say "can't scare us!"
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Note that a credit inquiry is done when opening a new utility account (cable, power, water, satellite) and when you buy a car for cash,not just credit.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Apparently as part of the many divestitures and acquisitions, my info ended up in the fidelity laptop retirement database that was stolen last month. Social, account info, date of birth, etc. Swell.

The good news is that they're offering free credit watch monitoring, although the letter doesnt say for how long. I'm going to guess a year.

If you ever worked for a company that bought or sold a business or division to anyone who bought or sold a business or division to HP...So Intel, Digital, Compaq, etc...you might want to pull one of your free credit reports and check it out.
This sounds like one of those things, If you ever slept with a girl, who slept with a guy, who slept with a girl, who slept with a guy, who slept with Jane.... So Laurie, Stacy, Jennie, etc...you might want to head down to the clinic and check it out...
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

I wonder how many more times this comes up as companies refuse to delete old, worthless employee and customer information.
Oh, I am pretty sure that all that "worthless" data has a definite positive cash value to certain miscreants.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 02:40 PM   #6
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

With all of this free time on my hands as being ER'd I pull my free report every 4 months (1 from each of the 3 agencies).

When we bought our new car last year (cash) the auto dealer never made an inquiry.

I have a friend who had his credit stolen when he lived up in Chicago (actual theft took place in Oklahoma City by the mail carriers brother). This took him 4-5 years to clear up and happened just when this type of thing was taking off. He had to legally change his name and was arrested in OK City when he tried to clear some of this up with the DA in person. Was a total mess. What started it all was when the thief bought 2 new vehicles in his name. He'd put a little down then turn around and sell the vehicles for cash. Not sure how he dealt with the titles.

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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 03:41 PM   #7
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Advantage is that when the news media puts out their dire warnings about identity theft we can say "can't scare us!"
Are you sure? While some identity theives get their data from credit reports, I think that is a relatively small part of the problem. I think most get the numbers from some kind of business relationship where you voluntarily provide the info. Freezing your credit report won't prevent that, but certainly won't hurt.

It is amazing though how much info you can get if you are willing to spend money. A while back I had a dispute with an ebay seller that got ugly. He threatened physical violence if I continued my claim. I decided I would learn as much as I could about him to assess whether he really was going to get violent. I paid some money to one of these web background check places and I learned that he didn't seem to have a criminal record of any felonies, and that he lives in a small town in Texas with several other relatives nearby. I learned he owns his home, and I got to see all the details of the mortgages. Most shockingly, I got his social security number. The one thing I didn't get was his credit reports, but you can see that I didn't really need them. If I was nefarious I could have assumed his identity using just the info I got.

As a landlord I can get full credit reports on my renters just by sending in an easily forged rental application. Anyone can pose as a landlord and get the same.





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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 05:43 PM   #8
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I wonder how many more times this comes up as companies refuse to delete old, worthless employee and customer information.
Delete it?!? But they might need to sell refer to it someday!
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 05:59 PM   #9
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Note that a credit inquiry is done when opening a new utility account (cable, power, water, satellite) and when you buy a car for cash,not just credit.
Why would a car dealer need to run a credit check if you are paying cash? Why would they even be allowed to?

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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

I've known people that have had their identities stolen.* It's a mess.* Sometime it can be funny.* I know a short, heavy American Indian woman in Texas who had her identity stolen by a tall, thin, African American woman in Minnesota.* They had detailed descriptions of the thief.* Samples of her handwriting.* A history of when and where the fraudulent purchases were made.* This poor victim had records showing that she was no where near anywhere north of Oklahoma for the entire period of the frauds.* The Minn. DA agreed she didn't match the description but he wanted her to come up for further discussions.* She didn't go because she couldn't think of one thing left to talk about.* It also wasn't worth the money and time to get there.* She assumed she was going to be arrested.* It took years for it all to go away.

It's too bad that when you don't ever want credit again that you can't just mark that into your credit report.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 06:16 PM   #11
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

May vary by state or dealer. In CA when I pay cash, they always check your credit. Otherwise, might not be a good idea to take a personal check from you and let you drive off with their car...

I just checked, we got a ping from the Lexus dealer.

They're allowed to because even though you pay cash they have you fill out the top part of a loan request, in which you agree to have a credit check run.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 06:25 PM   #12
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Sometime it can be funny. I know a short, heavy American Indian woman in Texas who had her identity stolen by a tall, thin, African American woman in Minnesota.
Same thing happened to my neighbor, although it was a little short of identify theft. A pair of thieves stole her purse from her car. African american man and woman, she's a short white italian woman. Her credit cards have the photos of her on them. The woman used the credit cards repeatedly without ID being checked or the photo being checked.

The one that really took the cake...the guy buys a set of tires and gives the tire guy a check with a very female name on it, and when he fills out the customer information on the work order he puts in his real name and address, then just crosses that out and writes her name and address next to it.

Needless to say, it was pretty easy to figure out who the thief was and where he lived :

Stupid crook of the year award issued, 1997...

Going back to the letter...this really has me a bit flummoxed and I think I might have to make a few calls and bop some heads.

I worked for Digital, ending in 1984 or 1985. Unless I had some kind of retirement account with them when I was in my late teens/early 20's (in which case I'd like to know if theres a balance)...I dont know where this info came from. While my last company split up some Digital assets with Compaq, who then merged with HP...I never worked for HP or any organization they bought or bartered for.

So some fidelity guy is running around with a database full of inactive 20-25+ year old retirement account data or somehow my old companies retirement info got used in a meeting over at HP. If its the latter, I know a good number of people who are going to want to know why...
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 08:35 PM   #13
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

My husband worked for DEC in the early 80s and has a teensy-weensy pension coming and got that same letter from HP. I doubt he'll do anything about it--maybe when the semester is over and he isn't busy. Anyhow, you might want to check--you might've earned a pension starting at age 55. If my husband waits to age 65 to collect and doesn't have survivorhship (for me), he'll get a whopping $237/month, no COLA. This amount hasn't changed since he first learned of it years ago, so when they say No COLA, they mean not so much as an annual sip of pepsi...
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 08:42 PM   #14
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
May vary by state or dealer. In CA when I pay cash, they always check your credit. Otherwise, might not be a good idea to take a personal check from you and let you drive off with their car...
Ah, right, you guys use checks. I guess they don't wait until it clears before handing you the keys?

I presume a cashier's check, direct wire, or envelope of cash wouldn't provide the same justification, though, right?

Quote:
I just checked, we got a ping from the Lexus dealer.

They're allowed to because even though you pay cash they have you fill out the top part of a loan request, in which you agree to have a credit check run.
Ok, I have to admit that I have never bought a car from an American dealer, so maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would you need to fill out even part of a loan request when you don't need a loan? Is that part of a negotiation tactic (keep 'em guessing whether you want financing or not)? Is it optional if you don't need/want to play that game?

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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 09:24 PM   #15
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

A little off target from the purpose of the thread, but what about the use of HDD passwords to prevent theft of information from laptops? None of us in our company are allowed to have a PC without ensuring it is HDD password protected. Our IT dept says that makes the HDD totally useless in the event anyone steals it.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 09:30 PM   #16
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

AltaRed,

Sounds like a good idea. How is it done?

Ed
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-10-2006, 09:41 PM   #17
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Its not entirely foolproof. In some cases there are cracking tools or a "manufacturers password" that lets them reset the "user password". But its probably pretty proof against a garden variety local fool.

Latest scheme around here now that wifi hotspots are catching on at the coffee shops and malls is to run up to someone, punch them in the face or stab them, grab their laptop and run. Quick $200-300 selling it an hour later. Something like 50 incidents down in San Fran. Not sure how many up my way.

Bpp - you fill out the top half of the credit report (name, ssn, address, phone) so they have the info to run your credit report. Because yes, they take your personal check and hand you the keys and you drive home. Even if you apply for a loan, they let you take it on the spot. If your loan doesnt clear, they take the car back. There are a fair number of these up for resale, I think they call them "roll backs". New car with a 100-500 miles on it.

I dont know if doing a wire or cashiers check gets you a different thing...never tried it. Too easy to write a personal check, let them do their credit check, and drive home 10 minutes later. No wire fees or cashiers check fees.

Wow, so I might have a tiny little pension coming from DEC? Holy cow. I did work there for over 5 years...so maybe I do...
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-11-2006, 04:03 AM   #18
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

while having a fraud alert at the big three is good the problem is anyone with the right info can get a commercial loan in your name and thuse rarely use the big 3 as commercial loans use other sources..just saw an article about a woman who had a fraud alert and the bad guys got a commercial loan which went right under the radar..took her 2 years to get her confiscated bank account back.
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-11-2006, 04:54 PM   #19
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Hi TH(cfb)
I got that letter too, about a week ago(I used to work for Alpha and now work for your old employer). Couple of things
to note:

1. You do have a Digital Pension - HP keeps track of that.
2. The Fidelity offer is for 1yr and btw they also the information of the beneficiaries too. So not only your info was lost but the SSN of the benefeciaries was lost too and no Fidelity will not pay for a credit watch on their account :-(
3. http://theinquirer.net/?article=30606
The article above has a bunch of link with some details - essentailly it was stolen like you said.

hope that helps
-h
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...
Old 04-11-2006, 06:47 PM   #20
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Re: Got a letter from Fidelity today...

Thanks for the info. I'll have to check with HP and see what I might have coming to me!
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