Question About Identity Theft

Updated on December 28, 2007
D.K. asks from Elmwood Park, IL
9 answers

Hello, this is way off subject of most questions here, but I am really stressing out about this and am hoping someone has some advice for me. I have recently been fighting identity theft after my wallet was stolen. Initially I cancelled my credit cards and bank cards and had new ones issued and had a fraud alert turned on at the credit reporting agencies. It had been over a month since it happened and I thought I was in the clear since my social security number wasn't in my wallet and nothing new had happened. Then this weekend I was contacted by Citi Cards that someone attempted to open a credit card at Zales in Orland Park in my name. I then found out that they also attempted to open an account at Kohl's in Crestwood and just yesterday I learned that they attempted to open an account at Harlem Furniture in Orland Park. Fortunately all of these accounts were denied because of the fraud alert. However I am totally stressed out and can't sleep wondering what is going to happen next. I am really worried becuase I remember reading an article once that stated that a woman was a victim of identity theft and that the criminals had opened a bank account in her name (this evidently happens without going through the credit reporting agencies) and then filed a tax return in her name with a refund that went into this bank. Then when she filed her own tax return she was contacted by the IRS that she had filed 2 tax returns. I went to the IRS' website and it states that this can happen, but it does not state how to prevent it from happening.

Does anyone have any advice for me on how I can prevent this from happening and relieve some of my stress?

Thank You,

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses. I spoke with Social Security and with Citi Identity Theft and decided not to get a new Social Security number as it seems that is causes a lot of additional issues. Plus Social Security wouldn't give me a new number since at this point I have not been harmed. I have extended credit alerts on all of my credit reports. At this time I have only frozen the Equifax report because I signed up for their service and I can freeze and unfreeze the report on-line as necessary. Their service also allows me to view all 3 credit reports any time and alerts me whenever there is a change. I have contacted the IRS and all I can do with them is request an account report that will tell me anything they have received for my social. I have decided to do this weekly until April 15th to ensure that no fraudulent tax returns are filed.

Thank you all again.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

sorry! this must be incredibly frustrating to say the least. The IL Attorney General's Office has a helpline for people who are victims of identity theft. I would definitely contact them at 1-866-999-5630. The AG's website (below) also has links, forms, and information:

Hope this helps you.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Get down to a Social Security office near you before the new year and ask for a new social security number due to identity theft. It will prevent them from trying to do anything more with your social security number. Doing it before the new year ensures that things won't go funny (at least it should) when you file your taxes. I know my MIL had to change her social security number because someone opened an account in her name.

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answers from Chicago on


A few months ago I got a form letter from the VA Hospital somewhere in Georgia telling me that a hard drive with my information had gone missing, i.e. stolen. I was infuriated that the VA even had my information (I've never been to Georgia, am not a veteran, and have never had any dealings with the VA).

So I wrote letters to all 3 of the credit bureaus, learned that I had to submit a police report (yeah, right! from somewhere in Georgia!!), or simply pay them ten bucks a piece and have them freeze my credit indefinitely.

Which I did. The downside is that I have to pay ten bucks to unfreeze it if i want to take out a loan or get a new credit card.

Now no one, including me, can apply for credit. Problem solved. And, I heard that on the kind of loss I experienced, the information might not be used for several years.


Can't wait until we get a biometric encoding system on credit cards which will make it impossible for anyone without the owners DNA to validate the purchase.


R. Katz, Psy.D.



answers from Chicago on

My husband and I just signed up for lifelock. It's $100/year, but would definitely be worth it for you!



answers from Chicago on

Hi D.,
I had my wallet stolen years ago and unfortunately my social security card was in there. I am still dealing with issues although the credit card companies and reporting agencies are great about checking up on things and notifying you when they think something fradulent is going on. It sounds like you've done everything right. Things should slow down, you may have things come up occasionally but as long as you check your credit reports annually and keep a close eye on your credit card statements you'll be fine!



answers from Chicago on

I want to tell you that crooks will be crooks. We cannot do anything to stop people who have made up their minds to take from us. I have been a victim in the past twice. Once by credit card and the credit card was in my purse and the other time by someone using my bank account information. The credit card was being used in the third world countries. One month I did not receive my statement in the mail and the next month someone was using my bank account. I believe that this is an inside job and that the crooks have people that help them. I even tried to get the bank to release the information so I could go to court but the bank would not release the information. STRESS! Stress was not even the word for what I was feeling when this was happening. I eventually paid for 24 hour monitoring of my credit monthly because of this. This has been over two years and I have had no problems. :) All I can say is pray and know that GOD will protect you and GOD has because the three accounts they tried to open were rejected. Just take it one day at a time and I am sorry to say you have taken the steps to try to prevent these things. It seems that some amateurs have your information since. Petty crooks never get far. I will keep you and your family in pray.



answers from Chicago on

Most of these stores have video cameras. I would go to the police and see if they can get a copy of the tape for that day if it shows that section of the store. And see if they can maybe find the person thats doing this on tape. I think if the person is caught you might feel a bit better.



answers from Chicago on

its good that you put the fraud alert on that will deter a lot altough will end up being a huge pain for you in the future.. It happened to my husband and we still have to explain who he is.. He had to put a stop on his license b/c a 2nd ID was issued to this person through the state so everytime we get pulled over we have to have the letter w/us showing we initiated the ID stop on his drivers license. Every year we pulled his credit report and dispute anything that looks a little funny and it's been a while since it happened to us.. GOOD LUCK and don't stress to much a number of laws are in place to help the victims now.



answers from Chicago on

This same thing happened to me about 8 years ago and I did all the steps that you took. I also filed a police report in the district the theft took place. One negative for me was that I had my social security number on my driver's license. That was not smart on my part. As long as you have the credit agencies notified to contact you before approving any new accounts, you should be ok. I was contacted for over a year with new accounts trying to be opened in my name. After that, nothing ever came of it. I suppose the thiefs got tired of trying. They also had an account open with AT&T in my name and had thousands of dollars worth of equipment shipped to them. AT&T contacted me and I explained the situation to them. They then got in touch with the police. Even though the police had these people's address because they had goods shipped to their home, I was told because the fraud was actually against AT&T, the police couldn't do anything unless AT&T wanted to go after the theifs. It is frustrating and made me very anxious as well but it all blew over in the end.

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