I Am Not Alone

By | January 23, 2003

Identity Theft Complaints Double in ’02

I’m now well into the process of clearing up my credit record. This experience is supplying me with a lot of information on how to deal with identity theft efficiently once it has happened to you. I’ll try to organize it in a reasonable fashion and add it to what I have already put together.

So far, I have filled out and returned 2 of the 8 affidavits. Some of them are simple one-pagers. Home Depot (card services actually handled by GE Capital Financial), however, wants me to fill out the four page standard FTC Identity Theft affidavit. That wouldn’t be so bad if all the other companies accepted it, too.

I’ve always been very careful about giving out my Social Security Number, which appears to be the only thing this thief needed to open the eight accounts. I generally push back unless I know the requesting company needs it to either do a credit check or file a document related to me with the IRS. Many companies ask for your SSN as a lazy way of getting a unique identifier for you. Push back, and they will often admit they don’t really need it.

Update: Here’s another brief, but useful article from the Times on dealing with the aftermath of identity theft.

2 thoughts on “I Am Not Alone

  1. Roger

    Hi Robert!
    Did I mention that something like this happened to Ellen?

  2. Richard Berger

    One new item for your list – one agency that seems to be interested in prosecuting identity theft is the Secret Service. They don’t really like people roaming around with fake ids. Our local police dept suggested that we contact our local Secret Service bureau (the one for the Bay Area is in LA). The secret service folks were extremely responsive and knowledgeable – and have assigned an agent to Molly’s case.


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