Recovering from Fraud/ Identity Theft

Updated on May 26, 2018
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
10 answers

A senior I know has been the victim of fraud/identity theft. Thus far they’ve determined that their bank account was tapped. Unauthorized purchases were made. Paper statements from the were stopped, the “bad guys” put a stop request with the post office holding all mail for 1 month. It seems fake checks using their account info but a fake delivery address were also made and used.

The bank and police have been alerted. Who else is does one need to contact? Is there an outfit that helps people safeguard against further ID theft? Remedy the damage from ID theft? Does AARP have a checklist of what to do? Would local government or social services know how to help?

Thanks for your help.

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answers from New York on

Get new credit/debit cards etc. all the usual. Then out a freeze in all credit requests. It costs $10 for each credit agency so $30. Just went thru this. Someone might try to get credit but it won’t happen. Once I did that, all was quiet.

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answers from Portland on

The police can tell her. Call the division that handles fraud. Credit Bureaus can help. There are web sites that address that issue.

I use Credit Karma to monitor my accounts. They also notify me when there appears to be something I need to know. They also post educational information. Credit Karma is free.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

They should close that bank account and open a new one. Get a copy of the police report and send that to all credit reporting agencies along with a list of the accounts that were fraudulently opened. You see commercials all the time for Life Lock, they help guard against such theft. Also send a copy of the police report to the creditors where the fraudulent accounts were opened - they should then not hold your friend responsible for the fraudulent charges.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Life Lock is a must. Police report to all creditors. They need to close ALL accounts. This can take years to clear up and honestly may never get cleared up. Brother had an issue and they only found out when they applied for a home loan. It was a mess. Police, creditors, banks and several years of explanations. Good luck. Identity theft is not a victimless crime.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I've known a few people this has happened to - the nightmare never ends and it can go on for YEARS.
One friend had so much trouble the SS Admin actually suggested and approved issuing her a new SS Number.
Even after your friend cleans things up, her credit rating is shot and may never recover.

It's too complicated for her (or anyone) to try doing this on her own.
I suggest your friend take a look at LifeLock.
It's a company that specializes in cleaning up identity theft.
You end up paying a subscription for the service but it's the most help I've ever heard of for assisting with the whole mess.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Has she written a letter to all 3 of the reporting agencies? They may need for her to send them a copy of the police report...

Just read JB's post. When my dad passed away, we wrote letters to all 3 credit agencies, letting them know that he died. I initially sent them an actual death certificate, and all 3 agencies sent them back to me, telling me that they only accept copies. So I made copies and re-sent the letters and copies of the death certificates. (So now I know not to send originals...) I add this here only for people who read my post to put in the back of their heads for the future...

You are sweet to help this lady...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The bank SHOULD be stepping up and helping them and telling them what to do. The bank SHOULD be working with the police to remedy everything as well - showing the fake address, any video

they need to do the following:

Fraud alert on the credit reports
close the bank account and open a new one.
get a diamond cut shredder and shred everything that is received
ensure that all of their statements are done electronically
If they have ANY credit cards? Ensure that each and every one does NOT have any unknown charges.

If the police have the delivery address? Someone HAS to be there.

Personally? I hate writing checks anymore. I still have them, but write them occasionally. I prefer everything to be done with the debit card. That way I FEEL I have more security, not necessarily that I DO.

I don't know anything personally about "LifeLock" nor anyone who has used them.
It is MY OPINION that the bank should reverse any and all fraudulent purchases to the customer and go after the criminals.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Geez, poor woman, I am glad you're concerned for her and wanting to help her. Just wondering why isn't the police and the bank helping her? They should have a checklist of things to do and monitor, and provide that to her. I found a list online, I hope it is of help to her:

Also, the FTC says to report identity theft here:

Sounds really awful, there are more steps than I ever would have expected. What a stressful PITA!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You have good advice. Police report is critical. Also pt a freeze on all credit reporting agencies.

About 8 months after my husband died I got a call from a bank we had no affiliation with saying my husband was on the other line and had forgotten the PIN to activate his new card. I kept her on the line, requested to talk to my "husband". She verified his SS and birthday and then I verified his death day. She immediately shut the account down.

I immediately went to all credit reporting agencies and put a fraud alert and freeze on everything. For some unknown reason, his SS# was not marked as deceased on the records and someone got a hold of his SS# and attempted to open numerous accounts in FL. I got a stop to it pretty fast but I have kept a freeze on all agencies.

I don't know what AARP can do. I am well aware of Lifelock and they are good.

You are kind to help this person out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

the bank and police should be able to help her take any additional steps necessary.

here are the AARP guidelines.

there are credit guarding companies but be careful of them. Lifelock, for example, sounds great but they are not cheap and have some severe limits on what they'll actually do to protect you.


1 mom found this helpful
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