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Identity Theft Protection Service
Old 03-12-2013, 05:58 AM   #1
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Identity Theft Protection Service

I have had to close three credit cards in the last year because of disputed charges. The latest was at my local gas station where they used my account to presumably purchase gas. I had just been there two days prior. I understand there have been scams at gas pumps and outdoor ATM's. I am contemplating using an ITPS and was wondering if others are using any service, and whether you are satisfied. I am a little leery due to the amount of sensitive data they would have. What if you cancelled at some future date? How could you be sure they would protect your data? With credit cards being read by RFID your identity could be stolen just by being in the vicinity of a thief. Interested in your comments and experiences.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:01 AM   #2
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I don't know much about them but have heard they cost a lot and end up dumping the work back on you. I froze my credit at the three credit rating agencies so no identity thief can open a new account in my name. I think that protects you from the worst of the potential problems. I have still had to replace a couple of compromised credit cards but that doesn't result in a loss and I would have had to replace them with an ITPS anyway.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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There are actually a number of methods to protect your identity besides using paid services. I had my identity stolen about 2 years and now do the following which has worked well:

1. Request a credit lock from one of the main credit agencies (I believe it then propagates to the other two agencies). Once initiated, whenever a request for credit is made the issuer will call you to confirm before acceptance.

2. Create an account at CreditKarma.com (which is free). This will tell you your credit score and account/balance information. Not to mention they have a cool iPhone app.

3. Setup passwords for all your credit card accounts in lieu of the standard security questions. This way a thief can do squat even if they have your SSN, DOB and mothers maiden name.

I hope this helps.

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Old 03-12-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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1. Request a credit lock from one of the main credit agencies (I believe it then propagates to the other two agencies). Once initiated, whenever a request for credit is made the issuer will call you to confirm before acceptance.
They don't propagate. You have to freeze all three agencies. Opening a line of credit is a PITA because you have to unfreeze them temporarily. As near as I could tell when I applied for a new CC to get a 50,000 mile airline point bonus the rating agencies simply deny the request and the card company ignores your application. I didn't even get a response from the card company. I had forgotten the freeze and called the card company to see what happened to my application. When I realized the problem I assumed they used only one of the agencies so I could just unfreeze that account but the company said they used all of them so I have to unfreeze all three accounts. It is definitely a PITA but how often does a retiree need to open a new credit line?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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I have had to close three credit cards in the last year because of disputed charges. The latest was at my local gas station where they used my account to presumably purchase gas. I had just been there two days prior. I understand there have been scams at gas pumps and outdoor ATM's. I am contemplating using an ITPS and was wondering if others are using any service, and whether you are satisfied. I am a little leery due to the amount of sensitive data they would have. What if you cancelled at some future date? How could you be sure they would protect your data? With credit cards being read by RFID your identity could be stolen just by being in the vicinity of a thief. Interested in your comments and experiences.
The problem you are encountering might be resolved by not doing business at the establishments that have shown to have the bad actors in employment or skimmers on their card readers. If your card number was used at places you've never been, but they're all local, you might consider eyeing the maid, gardner, or dare I say it, the nephew. But your issue will likely not be solved or even improved by using a credit monitoring service. And there is really very little reason to pay for credit monitoring, if that's what you mean by ITPS. All three credit bureaus allow you to freeze your credit for cheap or for free (depends on the state). That actually is more effective than credit monitoring, since no one, not even you can get more credit under your name. You can temporarily thaw your credit if you need to, though. But you've got an apples and oranges thing going on here. You don't have an ongoing situation where someone is trying to get credit as if they were you (where an identity theft service might be helpful), but just using your credit card without your permission or knowledge. Frankly, I think what you're doing is plenty (just reconcile you credit card statement and dispute things as they come-up).

Oh, and if you get one of those proximity cards, a few seconds in the microwave will take care of that problem. Just one second at a time. As soon as it's barely warm to the touch, you're done (you don't want to melt it).

--Dale--
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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It is definitely a PITA but how often does a retiree need to open a new credit line?
Agreed on both points. One thing I did was be very methodical about recording everything I did during the freezes, and I keep all of the URL's and codes in one spot. But like you, it took a couple of tries to get the incentive card I was going for. The credit card company wouldn't even tell me which of the bureaus they used, so I had to thaw them all.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:28 AM   #7
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As someone else mentioned, and I will say it also....

You did not have an identity theft... you had a CC used that was not authorized... different kind of crime... and different things you need to do...

Identity theft is them writing checks or getting credit on accounts that you have no knowledge.... this happened to me.. someone just put my name on checks at a bank that I do not have an account... I had to report this to the police and get official info to give them. (as an aside, Telecheck wanted me to jump through a bunch more hoops which I refused to do, they still send me letters trying to collect )...

I have also had a CC used at a gas station in another state... it was a legit CC, but it was not me who made the purchases.... I was informed by the CC company and they closed down the account and issued me a new card.... I did not have to report it to the police or do anything else. It was handled by the CC company....

I have no idea where they got my CC info... it was used in a different state... but, most CC info is at SOME company and we all know that it can be stolen...


The identity theft company can not do much about illegal use of your existing CCs or even them writing bad checks on a fake account.... they can only help if someone is trying to get a CC in your name...
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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Luckily I haven't had any problems with identity theft. I have occasionally had some spurious CC charges but in all cases the CC company intervened before I ever saw them on my statement.

One thing I do is when I pump gas I try to make the last digit equal to the month +2 (so if I fill up in March it would end with a 5, in December it would be 4) so when I get my CC charges I can quickly identify any questionable gas charges.
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Coincidentally...
Old 03-12-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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Coincidentally...

Just heard on the "Entertainment Channel" (CNBC) that the First Lady's financial records have been hacked...

first lady hacked - Google Search

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Old 03-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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Just heard on the "Entertainment Channel" (CNBC) that the First Lady's financial records have been hacked...

first lady hacked - Google Search
Dumb move. Her husband has access to heavily armed drones and black op helicopters.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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I've had CC details stolen and used twice in the last few years so I put a credit freeze on all 3 agencies, not because it would help with getting CC details stolen, but I just imagined what a hassle it would be if someone was using a CC in my name that I had no knowledge of.

The last time my CC details were stolen, Amazon allowed someone to create a new account and use my CC as the default charge card. Didn't even inform me that a new account, in a different name, had been created and was using my CC. I spotted the fraud only when some small charges from Amazon (less than $10) appeared on the card. I guess the perpetrator was relying on the fact that many folks might not notice a few small charges from Amazon.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:12 PM   #12
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Alan, like you there was a previous $9.75 charge against this same account at year-end. Then two months later this $40 charge. My BIL's mother from London was here this past summer. They went to lunch here in MN and she paid with her CC. After she got back to London she got a call asking if she had ever been at that restaurant. She said yes, and apparently someone had stolen her account number and tried to buy $1000 worth of plane tickets.

Thanks all for your helpful comments. I think I will just be diligent in watching my account charges. I had always thought the problem was with internet purchases. Now it seems that the problem is much more localized. This must be a huge headache for CC companies and all retailers. The other side is that some customers may actually dispute charges that are valid. It doesn't seem like the CC companies really research the disputes. I saw one article (sorry didn't save link) that said CC fraud was up 87% since 2010.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #13
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The other side is that some customers may actually dispute charges that are valid. It doesn't seem like the CC companies really research the disputes. I saw one article (sorry didn't save link) that said CC fraud was up 87% since 2010.

Disputed CC charges are researched... the merchant has to provide proof that the charge was valid...

There was one time that I had my car fixed... I picked it up Christmas eve... the guy ran my CC and said it did not go through... so he ran it again... and said it did not go through... so I gave him a second CC and he ran it and it worked...

But, the first two also worked... it was just that he did not get his confirmation number... since I had three charges on two cards I paid the card with the one charge... I disputed the charges on the other... well, the dealership told them it was a legit charge and they put both of them back on the CC... I again disputed the charge and provided my backup... a year later, the charges came back onto my CC... pissed me off and I ripped a good one with the CC company... someone that had a brain looked at what I had sent and took the charges off...

So, I know they do not just let these things go... they do the research...
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