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Over on Reddit, one poster in the the /r/personalfinance subreddit shared the terrible thing that happened to his fiancée when she visited her local Department of Motor Vehicles to change the address on her driver’s license. It’s not clear what happened or exactly how, but what they know is that someone issued a new license with her name and information and a different ID number. This person also has her Social Security number.
As you might know, that information can lead to untold mischief, and the identity thief has had a lot of fun. They opened credit card accounts at major retailers like Lowe’s, Macy’s, and Kohl’s. Well, they tried to, but by then her account had been frozen. More on that in a bit.
Not that his fiancée is alone in being a victim of identity theft: it’s one of the top crimes that people complain to the Federal Trade Commission about. What should you do when you’re a victim of identity theft? So far, the couple has done everything that one should after identity theft takes place:
File a police report, even if the theft or breach occurred outside of your local area. You’ll need to start a documentation trail for the future as you swat down bogus accounts, maybe far into the future.
Get it on tape. If cards are opened in your name and/or used at a brick-and-mortar store, contact that store right away to find out whether they have surveillance cameras. Stores sometimes don’t save that footage for long.
Don’t pay for identity theft protection. You can do much of this yourself for free, by having a free service like CreditKarma alert you when you take out a new line of credit (or someone else does under your name.) Pull your credit report from one of the three bureaus every four months from AnnualCreditReport.com to check for anomalies. Another inexpensive option is to freeze your credit report, which prevents anyone, including you, from opening new lines of credit.
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist
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