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My personal info hacked
Old 01-21-2020, 08:02 PM   #1
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My personal info hacked

(sorry for length of this story, but I couldn't make it shorter)
First, I got mysterious texts advising me of purchases made from my debit MasterCard. Except I never had a such a card. I called them and they told me that the cardholder probably inadvertently entered my phone number due to one digit being off. But then I got, in the mail, a brand spanking new debit card (which I hadn't asked for).
Calling the card issuer was both frustrating and scary with their total lack of concern for fraud. I suspect they are in on it. It gets worse: Home Depot rejected my credit card application since I had a credit freeze on my reporting agencies. Except I hadn't applied for a card. Home Depot told me someone applied at a store in another state USING MY NAME, ADDRESS, AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.
It gets even worse: Lowes sent me a Lowes Pro card. You guessed it, I never applied for it. But they approved it, including some $8000 in purchases made by the time I received the card in the mail. At least they verified I am not liable.
I notified all of my credit card companies, and my bank. Anything else I should do to protect myself?
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:06 PM   #2
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I'd immediately freeze my credit at all three agencies.

Oops. See you already did that.

How were they able to open accounts/get cards? I thought freezing your credit prevented this.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:11 PM   #3
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Have you pulled your own credit reports? I'd do so, asap.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:45 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're a victim of identity theft.

I had it happen to me many years ago and it was a mess. Pull your credit reports, notify the police, contact all the merchants that have been affected.

They registered cars in my name, opened phone accounts, charged up over $25k in fraudulent credit card transactions. This was back before the internet and I was on the phone for several days dealing with everything.

You may have identity theft coverage provided by your homeowners insurance or even your bank.

Keep a folder with all the information concerning this forever as it will come back to haunt you forever. I still have to refer to my files occasionally and it's been a good a good 25 years since it happened to me.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:06 AM   #5
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So sorry for all this trouble. It is very disturbing that it happened when you have credit freezes already! That was one big one I thought was keeping us safe.

I don't know what else to tell you but I have had good responses to credit checks just by using the free https://www.creditkarma.com/ site. Everything helps.

Also if you don't already make sure your all your credit and debt cards already email you there are chargers over a given amount. Our are actually set at $1 but $5 or $10 or $20 would work.

Just remembered to check on of my favorite sites.
Title: 10 things you must do if your identity is stolen
https://clark.com/consumer-issues-id...id-what-to-do/

More details in the article but here is the list:

Take these 10 steps now if you think you’re a victim of identity theft
1. Take notes
2. Open an account with Credit Karma or Credit Sesame
3. Request credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus
4. Freeze your credit with all 3 credit bureaus
5. Contact the institutions where you see fraudulent activity
6. Contact all 3 bureaus and issue a fraud alert with each one
7. File a police report - Call your local police department to file a report. You may be transferred to the fraud prevention department if there is one. Provide any information that you have about the
8. Call the Social Security Administration’s fraud alert line (800-269-0271) and the Federal Trade Commission, which keeps a database to identify thefts (877-FTC-HELP)
9. Contact your current banks and credit card companies to report fraudulent activity in your name
10. Follow up
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:43 AM   #6
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Wow scary stuff!!

I wasnít aware that we could freeze credit with 3 agencies.

Does this just keep anyone from opening a card in your name? How do you do this?
If so, how I difficult is it to unfreeze this later?

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:03 AM   #7
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What a major bummer. Do you have any idea how they got your information, such as a breech from Equifax, USG Security Clearance, or BCBS? It seems that there was a critical failure with Lowes and they owe you a root cause because a credit freeze is designed to prevent this from happening.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:28 AM   #8
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I am curious about how they opened the accounts (Master Card debit and Lowe's Pro) while a credit freeze was in effect. Is it possible that the issuer opened the account pending authorization and the credit bureaus would have refused data from those companies since your credit was frozen? It would certainly be irritating to find that a freeze isn't a freeze.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retireby45ish View Post
Wow scary stuff!!

I wasnít aware that we could freeze credit with 3 agencies.

Does this just keep anyone from opening a card in your name? How do you do this?
If so, how I difficult is it to unfreeze this later?

Thanks
All 3 have steps on their websites and it takes only a few minutes. If you lock to day, unlocking shouldn't be too hard. It's those that locked years ago before they put new protocols in place that have reported difficulties.

It prevents them giving your credit report in response to an inquiry, which is required to open 99% of accounts.

Whatever passwords and keys you make to lock them? Keep em safe and in a place you can find. They do NOT have a "oops forgot my pin" easy way to get back in, for good reason.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:33 AM   #10
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It sounds like Home Depot was the only one that DIDN'T issue a card because of the credit freezes you had, but that Lowes and Mastercard did issue cards?

How would that even happen with credit freezes on? Did you have Equifax, Transunion and Experian all frozen?
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post

Whatever passwords and keys you make to lock them? Keep em safe and in a place you can find. They do NOT have a "oops forgot my pin" easy way to get back in, for good reason.
The damn companies are dropping the pins and going to passwords. Unfortunately I can't register a password at a coupe because they won't accept my pin and require me to answer obscure credit questions from my file. They make the choices so difficult that I can't figure out the answers.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:00 AM   #12
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I suspect the credit bureaus have made it too easy to unfreeze credit such that a bad actor can do so. We recently had to set up online accounts with the bureaus to temporarily unfreeze credit and they did not require the initial PIN to unfreeze our credit! Plus they asked the ridiculously easy “knowledge” questions to verify our identity and set up our accounts even though our credit was frozen. It’s infuriating!
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:22 AM   #13
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I don't think you have to unfreeze credit to get store-based credit.

IIRC that's what happened to the Lifelock owner...some perp managed to get store credit with his personal info.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:34 AM   #14
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I don't think you have to unfreeze credit to get store-based credit.

IIRC that's what happened to the Lifelock owner...some perp managed to get store credit with his personal info.
A credit lock only blocks reports. A freeze blocks new lines of credit. With a lock (lifeblock) someone with your info could still open a line of credit if the store didn't care to get a report. If a store doesn't open a line of credit at any of the bureaus I am not sure what they are doing. Presumably, they couldn't report failure to pay since there would be no line of credit to report on.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:13 AM   #15
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When I froze my reports at the 4 credit bureaus, I noticed the (IMHO) slimey trick they were trying to pull of offering to lock my account instead of the legal freeze account.

I wonder how many people accidentally go for the lock, not realizing it's not the same thing ?
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:16 AM   #16
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This thread motivated me to go down the rabbit hole of registering for the accounts fro the credit agencies. I'm one of the folks who did the credit freeze with PIN years ago, before the new and improved (gulp) way of doing things.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Retireby45ish View Post
I wasnít aware that we could freeze credit with 3 agencies.
Title: How to Freeze Your Credit With Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
https://clark.com/credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:04 AM   #18
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There are dozens upon dozens of credit reporting agencies... not just 3.
At a minimum you need to also freeze at Innovis and NCTUE. NCTUE (run by Equifax) is used by a lot of the telecom companies and no, freezing at Equifax does not also freeze NCTUE.
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Old 01-22-2020, 12:43 PM   #19
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Well, I managed to create accounts for 2 of the 3 big credit agencies.

Equifax is still a problem like they were in the past. After having to call a number and answer 4 questions to prove I am who I am. Then the person at the call center, said, I just need to get a password reset. But no dice, does not work. I guess the only good thing is since it is so difficult to even try to log in, I suppose a hacker wouldn't be able to get my info online either.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eroscott View Post
Take these 10 steps now if you think you’re a victim of identity theft
1. Take notes
2. Open an account with Credit Karma or Credit Sesame
3. Request credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus
4. Freeze your credit with all 3 credit bureaus
5. Contact the institutions where you see fraudulent activity
6. Contact all 3 bureaus and issue a fraud alert with each one
7. File a police report - Call your local police department to file a report. You may be transferred to the fraud prevention department if there is one. Provide any information that you have about the
8. Call the Social Security Administration’s fraud alert line (800-269-0271) and the Federal Trade Commission, which keeps a database to identify thefts (877-FTC-HELP)
9. Contact your current banks and credit card companies to report fraudulent activity in your name
10. Follow up
All of the above. Someone in FL opened a business account on our CC. The IRS sent us a pin to file every year (for 7 years). A policeman came to our house when we filed a police report.
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