Yay. My credit card was already stolen last month, and now I come home to see that my personal information, including Social Security number, name, date of birth, and address was leaked by my school via a stolen laptop. Why is all this information, which supposedly spanned three decades, sitting in an unattended laptop?? Seriously, people!
So, I grudgingly did some research on how to deal with this, and found this official FTC site on identity theft. The first step was to file a Fraud Alert at one of the three major credit bureaus:
Trans Union: http://www.tuc.com/
You just have to contact any one of them (I used Experian), and that credit bureau will automatically notify the other two. Also, you will be sent a credit report for free from all three bureaus (no credit score). Ha, at least I get some more free credit reports, although I just pulled them.
Specifically, I filed a “Initial Security Alert”, which lasts 90 days. You can extend it out to 7 years with a police report. Now, supposedly if someone wants to open any credit in my name then the credit bureaus must notify me. But I never gave them my phone number, so I’m guessing that they’ll notify me by mail? That might be an inconvenience if I do want apply for a credit card (no more instant approvals), but I suppose it’s worth it.
Now to wait and see if anyone tried to steal my identity. Stupid school.
By Jonathan Ping | Credit Cards | 3/29/05, 5:42pm