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Old 06-02-22, 05:28 PM  
FitBoop
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I became a victim of identity theft

As you may know, I have been advocating for identity security and privacy for years. I always recommend freezing credit reports, putting fraud alerts on credit reports, being vigilant about multi-factor authentications, etc..

Despite my vigilance, I became the victim of identity theft. I found out after receiving an email alert from Experian IdentityWorks, saying there was a change to a bank account, at a bank I don't use. After investigating, I learned that someone opened up a bank account using my social security number and birthday, but used a different name and address. That person made an address change to the account, and because I had the identity theft monitoring, I received an alert.

Ironically, I registered with Experian IdentityWorks earlier this year, because it was offered as part of the settlement for the Equifax breach, in which many millions of people's social security numbers and data were exposed. It costs less than a cup of coffee for someone to purchase your social security number on the dark web. The thief opened the bank account in 2021, before I had the identity theft monitoring. If she hadn't made the change to the account, I never would have found out about it.

Since learning this, I have frozen my social security number with E-Verify, which is used by some employers to verify eligibility to work, and is part of Homeland Security.

I also obtained an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS, which is available to all taxpayers. I highly recommend this for everyone. It is getting more and more common for thieves to file tax returns using other people's social security numbers and obtain refunds.

I guess I will find out in the future if the thief did anything else that could affect me, such as receive a 1099 with my social security number for income, for which I would be taxed.

It's a fact that everyone's social security numbers and other sensitive data are out there for the taking. It really stinks to find out someone has stolen your data and used it. So please do everything you can to secure your data.
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Old 06-02-22, 05:35 PM  
Pat58
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I'm so sorry this happened to you.
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Old 06-02-22, 09:10 PM  
FitBoop
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Thanks, Pat!
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Old 06-02-22, 09:18 PM  
rhbrand
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Man why can't these people hack like the IRS and give everyone an extra thousand bucks instead of harassing innocent people.
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Old 06-02-22, 09:20 PM  
Usia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbrand View Post
Man why can't these people hack like the IRS and give everyone an extra thousand bucks instead of harassing innocent people.
They go after the easy prey, just like the IRS does.
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Old 06-02-22, 09:41 PM  
cataddict
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I'm so sorry this happened to you. I know you've given some invaluable advice and information about identity protection which I've benefited from and it stinks that it's happened to you.

Before I retired, the CPA firm that I worked for had several instances where a thief had stolen client personal information and filed tax returns for refunds. The thieves did NOT receive any money, because the bank details the thief used did not match other client personal information and the IRS caught it. However, it was a major hassle for the clients as they had no way of knowing how else and when their information might have been used.

And to be fair, the IRS most often goes after---meaning audits, garnishing, asset seizure----those accounts that they think will yield the biggest payoff, and that's not always the easy prey. At least that's what I saw in my 30 years of CPA firm experience.
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Old 06-02-22, 10:40 PM  
FitBoop
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If this could happen to me, it can happen to anyone. We just have to do whatever we can to protect ourselves.

One thing that really irks me is that the bank where the criminal opened the account was a bank that I did business with until several years ago. Since I was a customer, the bank has my social security number along with all my data, and the bank rep found my data as soon as I gave her my SSN. So it boggles the mind that a major US bank allowed an account to be opened with my SSN and birthday, and someone else's name and address!
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Old 06-03-22, 08:01 AM  
donellda
 
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A similar thing happened to my daughter when she was a teenager. Someone purchased a cell phone plan using her Social Insurance Number and her credit card number. The provider called her about an issue which alerted her to the fraud. She cancelled her credit card and put an alert on the new one so that each time it was used she received a phone call from the bank.
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Old 06-03-22, 10:32 AM  
Vintage VFer
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FitBoop - I'm very sorry this happened to you. Especially as you have been so careful and proactive in protecting your information.
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Old 06-03-22, 01:05 PM  
star117
 
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Darn, so sorry that happened to you!
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