Identity Fraud in the USA
Background story of a BE member about how identity fraud affected them can be found in this thread here.
Steps taken to prevent and fix this happening:
In summary, once someone knows your DL and SSN you are screwed! They own your accounts. The banks will correct the charges, but you are powerless to stop the criminals from emptying your account first. If it happens, you will have to spend your time and money to contact them and put it right. Time off work, postage costs, phone calls, writing letters, copying documents, it goes on and on.
You can stop new accounts being opened by placing a freeze on your accounts with the 3 main agencies.
You will need to repeat this every 90 days. If you are unfortunate enough to be a victim then you can have a freeze placed for 7 years. You just file a police report and send a copy to each agency requesting they place "an extended fraud alert and security freeze" on your account.
Send the letters recorded delivery (at your expense):
- Companies like LifeLock do this. Can see no benefit in using LifeLock. They cannot stop bank accounts from being emptied. They would freeze your credit accounts for 90 days, and repeat this every 90 days for you.
- A security freeze will prevent the credit reporting agencies from releasing your credit report without your consent. So someone pretending to be you and trying to open a credit application will not be able to apply for the credit. You are given a PIN or password to release it (for when you actually want to apply for credit etc).
- Lock your credit using the above links. Cancel any credit or store cards you do not use. Monitor the ones you do use - this can be as simple as adding text or email alerts to the accounts
Information posted by BE member thinbrit