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Old Dec 01, 2003, 11:23 PM
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BING!'s Avatar
usa
Joined Mar 2003
1,018 Posts
What should I do if I suspect of being targettted by an identity thief?

I got 2 suspicious calls on the phone tonight asking for personal information. I was cautious but confirmed the city where I lived (the caller already knew). I did not confirm or give my address. The the caller hung up abruptly after getting little cooperation.

The second call tonight was supposed to be from a computer retailer from which I bought a computer from earlier this year (the caller knew when I bought a computer). The caller wanted to know who my service provider was? I gave the wrong answer. After getting the answer, the caller hung up abruptly, which is suspicious for a telemarketer from a fortune 500 company.

I have not gotten marketing calls since I moved to this place a year ago and I get two tonight. all suspicious.

I have an open transaction on EBay with an eastern european buyer. I had no choice as the guy bought "buy it now".

Putting all these things together, I suspect I am being targetted by identity thieves.

Am I just being paranoid? Ive changed all my passwords. What else can I do?

JT
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Old Dec 01, 2003, 11:33 PM
Registered User
Anchorage, AK
Joined Dec 2002
280 Posts
NEVER EVER give out personal info. You did the right thing. Your social security number is all a thief needs to steal your identity. Some scumbag stole my wife's identity a couple years ago. Never really figured out how, but he was able to finance a car with her info! We had no idea until we had to do a credit check and my wife's credit report said she had bought a car and hadn't made one payment on it ever in over a years time! Our cars are all paid off. I paid cash for both of our cars. So, it took a while to get that straightened out. Oh, I love the Citibank commercials about the stolen identity problem. Especially the one where the old lady is scooping leaves out of her pool. Matt
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Old Dec 01, 2003, 11:39 PM
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Jacksonville, FL
Joined Aug 2002
2,696 Posts
You might want to call your bank, credit card issuers, and maybe even the credit bureau(s), to give them a heads-up and have them put a note in your file about your suspicions. They might also have some good advice for you about other steps you can take to protect yourself, as they deal with this stuff every day.

Rick
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Old Dec 02, 2003, 12:46 AM
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Joined May 2002
65 Posts
Absolutely contact the three major credit bureaus. They will be able to give you some advice. There are some steps they can take to help for any future credit inquiries, and you certainly need to get copies from them so that you'll know what's happening as far as who's requested your credit info in the last 90 days. Don't delay doing this, as the longer the ne'er-do-wells continue unimpeded, the worse it may be. Good luck.

Chris
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Old Dec 02, 2003, 04:03 PM
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La Mesa, CA, US
Joined Jan 2001
419 Posts
Make certain you use a paper shredder to destroy any thing with personal info you throw out. And to help insure the paper isn't sorted through even then, combine it with the bad food from your fridge that you are throwing out. (Isn't there always something gone bad in the fridge???)

Brad
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Old Dec 02, 2003, 05:37 PM
Out of Time
United States, TX
Joined Jul 2003
1,092 Posts
From personal experience, I can tell you that you are not being too paranoid.
I have already been screwed over, not specifically by "full" identify theft, but by my credit card number being stolen by a waiter at a restaurant (there was an investigation and they caught the guy... I wasn't the first).

I also get many "sales" calls and you quickly get used to inappropriate questions that sets off the red flag in your head.
Just don't get compacent and answer a question just because it was asked.
Even seeminly inocuous questions that ask for your mother's maiden name, your city of birth, etc., are dangerous because those are exactly the kind of "hidden" pieces of info that are many times legitimately asked of you by reputable companies in order to have a way of verifying your ID. Giving away an answer to those questions to just anybody is begging for a problem.
Keep in mind that a common way of getting info out of you is to get it piece by piece where one phone call will get one thing out of you and another (from a seemingly different source) will get something out of you and then put it all together to nail you.
You also might do a Google search on your own name. You might be surprised to see what shows up.

I'm getting too wordy here, so just to reiterate: No, you're not being too paranoid.

And by the way JT, I understand that your favorite color is blue, is that right? And I hear your dog barking in the background... he sounds so cute... what's his name?
And do you very often have a chance to get back home and visit the folks in... ahh... where'd you say you were from?

Highflight
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Old Dec 02, 2003, 06:46 PM
Gravity Hating RC Pilot
Newton, MA
Joined Nov 2000
159 Posts
definately call the credit reporting agencies, it may not be a bad idea to have your credit card agency and bank change your card numbers, and it may even be worth it to get a new series of checks made up with your name only as first initial, last name I.e. "E. Zone" and get a stop order put out on any unused checks.

David
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Old Dec 03, 2003, 01:37 AM
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BING!'s Avatar
usa
Joined Mar 2003
1,018 Posts
Egad, I see I'm not the only one who is freaked by the potential.

I will bring my defenses another notch up and track down unused checks. Also, maybe bring out money from the checking account that is not meant to be used any time soon. Will do a personal credit check too.

Thanks for the support.

p.s. I find that citibank commercial quite chilling.
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