Tons of Personal Information Stolen, Fraud Alert Placed

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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:

Experian: http://www.experian.com

Trans Union: http://www.tuc.com/

Equifax: http://www.equifax.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.

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Comments

  1. I have the Credit Alert on mine also, thanks to a nifty situation several years ago. Once I inserted my cell phone # into the body of the Alert (this had to be done in writing, of course), then any requested-by-me credit approvals became not so much of a problem.

    Before that, when the phone number wasn’t there, the only things I received in the mail were letters of “Sorry, we can’t open an account for you, thanks to your Credit Alert” from card companies. No attempted validations of my request for credit ever appeared, by mail or otherwise.

    So you might want to look into adding a phone number to the body of your Alerts.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Michael! I’ll definitely look into this.

  3. Thanks for the info. I am forwarding this to my friend as his card jost got stolen.

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