Is This a Potential Credit Problem?

Updated on September 30, 2016
E.B. asks from Virginia Beach, VA
10 answers

Or am I just over-reacting?

My daughter received one of those "you're pre-approved" letters from Capital One bank. Inside there is a personal reservation number and access code, with a website to go to, to apply online. Apparently you type in your reservation number and access code and find out what you're approved for.

Here's the problem: the envelope was mis-typed. It actually had two addresses on it, one to a woman we do not know, who lives in a completely different town, whose name does not resemble my daughter's name at all. But below that was my daughter's name and actual address. Due to the two addresses being on there, the bar code for the first address was smeared, so my daughter's address and bar code were readable and it was delivered to our mailbox.

However, inside, the letter is addressed personally to the other woman, with her first and last name. It has her reservation number and access code, and the computer has inserted her first name within the form letter, making it appear more like it's a personal invitation.

So I'm assuming that the next envelope that was stuffed contains my daughter's reservation number and access code and her full name.

I called the bank and all they told me was that no application in my daughter's name had been received - but we only got this letter last evening. They said there was no way to flag her name and report any application in her name as fraudulent and reject it.

Is that true? Does anyone know about this kind of stuff? Could this be a problem or am I just worrying about something that can't happen? Is there something else I should be doing? Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the helpful advice. I have never responded to one of those "you're pre-approved" things so I didn't know you still had to put in all your personal info.

I will definitely look into that credit freeze info. Appreciate all the responses.

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

She can write letters to the 3 credit reporting agencies and have them flag her account. That way if someone tries to take out a credit card in her name, the bank will see that flag. She has to renew that flag every 6 months, I think.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

It certainly raises red flags. Most likely the person who receives your daughter' info will shred the paperwork. I have received something similar, even medical records with ss# on them and I just shred it.

Can you put a freeze on her credit? We have a freeze on our credit which helps those types of offers to slow down.

My daughter gets them with what looks like a real check for up to $120,000 which is INSANE. We shred. I also have called.

IF there is a postage paid envelope for sending the paperwork back, I black out any personal data with exception of address and then I mail it back stating remove from mailing list.

Credit fraud is CRAZY. I received a call a couple weeks ago and someone said my husband was on the other line trying to activate his new card. Fraud got a red flag on the account and called me I asked to speak to my husband who was on hold and was told no. Then I told the representative that my husband passed away last year. At that point, she shut it down.

You have to stay n top of things like this. Sad but true.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

how old is your daughter? I would write a certified letter to the credit agencies and put a possible fraud alert on her record.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Go to There, you can put a "freeze" on her credit to limit the possibility of anyone else opening credit in her name. If your daughter wants or needs to open new credit at some point in the future, she can temporarily lift the freeze so that she can get whatever credit she needs.

The offers you get in the mail are usually time-limited, but since there is some system glitch that is combining the information of both your daughter and this other woman, you don't know if in two months you'll be getting another one of these offers with both names and addresses. To be on the safe side, you may want to consider a credit freeze, particularly if your daughter does not plan on opening any new credit or applying for any type of loan in the near future.

The information on this consumer protection page explains all of this, so I won't repeat here.
They also tell you how to opt out of these offers in the future. If there is no need for your daughter to receive all of these credit solicitations, it might be worth it to consider opting out of future offers.

Credit Fraud and Identity Theft are serious problems, so it is best to be proactive and stay on top of things. If she maintains a good credit rating and protects her identity, she will not have any problem securing credit at some future time when she may need it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First off it would help to know how old your daughter is. If she's a minor? You need to have her credit report pulled and review it for any accounts. She should NOT have ANY accounts as a minor.

If you "freeze" her credit, you are restricting access to her credit report. It does not stop anything. It just restricts access.Freezing your credit will NOT stop the "pre-approved" offers you MIGHT get in the mail.

You can call the credit bureaus:

Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872

Keep in mind, there is a charge to do this. Typically $10.

You MIGHT want to consider a FRAUD ALERT - this is a avenue that will allow you to protect your credit for up to 90 days. For me? since my data was involved in the OPM hack, I have a seven year protection on my credit. If anyone reviews my credit or a credit card is applied for, I am notified. Credit monitoring services can do this for you too.

I wish you luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I put a freeze on my kids credit reports years ago so that no credit or search can be done without my knowledge. When my oldest turn 20, I will remove it. These pre approved forms do have the name and a reservation number or code but when you go in, you still have to enter all of your info. It doesn't automatically give a card. Credit card companies are really loosening up and sending out preapproval letters again and probably got your daughter's name from some list.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Your daughter can ask the Credit Reporting Agencies to notify her before giving out her information.

Most people are honest and will not ask for approval under your daughter's name. I also know that responding to such offers by using another's name will not work. They will check out the personal information given when someone applies. Also getting that offer does not mean you will be approved even tho they say it's preapproved. The bank will check her credit report before actually approving the card. I know because when I've responded to such offers, I was not approved. The preapproved letters are an advertising gimmick.

Your daughter can call one of the credit reporting agencies to ask. I believe this will not be a problem. She can also call the bank and ask them if she can apply even tho she doesn't have the letter.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would get in the habit of ordering her credit report, one from each credit agency, transunion, experian and equifax, every year. Since there are 3 agencies and you can order one a year from each for free, order one every 4 months. You should do this for all family members and it should just be a regular thing for the rest of your lives. Also, there is a 50/50 chance that something funny isn't going on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Nah, don't worry about it. I've gotten many of those pre-approved offers, and accepted some of them. The other person would have to apply using your daughter's info, SS#, etc., and they don't know it. I don't think you need to start perusing your credit reports over this, unless you have the time and really want to.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Peoria on

You can get a free credit report through the free one per year. That will tell you what's on there. As for the application, shred it! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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