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Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2006-05-28, 12:18

I was wondering if any of you have used the credit-report site called annualcreditreport.com?

I saw that site mentioned in my local newspaper this morning.

If the paper suggested it, I imagine it is a trustworthy site, but thought I'd ask anyway.

Has anyone requested their own credit report lately, and if so, did you contact that credit report company directly, or go through one of these other companies? Did your report seem accurate, or did you find any questionable entries?

I was wondering if anyone has signed up with one of these companies that offer credit monitoring and credit protection for about $10 per month?

Also wondering if anyone has had any problems with fraudulent use of their credit card numbers, any problems with identity theft, or know anyone who has?

My bank's 'fraud dept.' contacted me last week to be sure some unusual charges made to my card were, in fact, made by me. I was very grateful for such monitoring by my bank. And, yes, I had made those charges, but it was comforting to know my bank has an automatic fraud alert in their system that flagged my account.

In case you think I seem overly concerned about credit card fraud and identity theft, I thought I'd mention that where I live is one of the worst places in the nation for ID theft.

My brother's bank just contacted him two weeks ago to tell him they were cancelling his current credit card number and issuing him a new card with a new number, because they suspected identity theft with his old card.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has had any problems along these lines?

Thanks for any replies.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2006-05-28, 12:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept
I was wondering if any of you have used the credit-report site called annualcreditreport.com?
Yup. I did mine a couple months ago. I've known a few others who used it too. No hassles here! It seemed pretty accurate to me.

I've had no problems with ID theft (yet), but as a rule I also generally avoid credit cards like the plague.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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spotcatbug
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Clayton, NC
 
2006-05-28, 18:51

You can now go directly to any of the big three credit agencies and get free annual reports right from them. I mean, if you want to be sure you're not getting scammed by some middle-man, why not just cut them out of the equation?

For some reason the only one of the big three agencies that's coming to my mind right now is Experian. www.experian.com talks all about getting your free report, with a big "Start Now" button.

Ugh.
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spotcatbug
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Clayton, NC
 
2006-05-28, 19:02

Just a follow-up (slightly off topic): my wife and I had an issue with identity theft a little more than a year ago. We learned some things. One biggy, if you're really worried about identity theft, is that you can turn off or opt-out of (or whatever the correct phraseology is) of the "instant credit" system.

Instant credit is what happens when a creditor gives you credit on the spot, with only a driver's license or some other easy form of id. For example, you can go to a car dealer and buy a car on instant credit. Just hand them a driver's license and they contact one of the big three and you get financed, well, instantly. Same for cell phone plans, store credit cards, etc. Basically all identity theft relies on instant credit. The loser steals your identity and then gets instant credit all over the place, buying things. If you opt-out of this "instant credit" system, your credit report is marked as not allowing instant credit. For the id thief, this makes your id worthless because they won't be able to get credit. For you, it's less convenient when you want to get things on new lines of credit; you can only get new credit lines in writing from the address listed on you credit report. This can be a real hassle, but if it works for you, it can give you real peace of mind about id theft.

After our id theft run-in, we turned off our instant credit option. The only problem we've had since then, in terms of getting a service on credit, was when I wanted to get a cell phone. Cell phone companies don't seem setup to deal with any type of transaction except one that starts with instant credit. It was a bit of an ordeal, but worth the trade-off, I think.

Ugh.
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TheMats84
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
 
2006-05-28, 19:56

Two years ago my identity was stolen. The funny thing is, whoever it was tried to buy a Dell computer with my info. The person mangled the credit application so badly that Dell's security department called to advise me of the situation. Raised so many red flags.

I filed a report with the local police department and called the major credit institutions and took all the necessary precautions. Never heard any more about it.
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RichieB
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Arizona
 
2006-05-28, 20:40

I've always used MYFICO. Works as expected and they monitor credit reports as well, if you choose. Plus you get a FICO credit score as well.
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2006-05-28, 20:45

One beef I had with contacting the big three reporting agencies is there's no lifeforms to be found. It's entirely automated, which frustrated my inquiries and when I gave in to automatic machine asking if I would like a report sent to me. I said yes, then few weeks later, I got the report. It didn't even answer the questions I wanted to ask.
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Artap99
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2006-05-28, 21:20

I had someone call me yesterday to tell me about identity theft They had my address wrong and my credit card wrong. I asked them to tell me information about myself and they couldn't.
A lot of people involved in fraud like to use the fraud as a way of giving people closure. The majority of the people who call your house that are talking about identity theft are most likely going to be frauds. The reason for this is that the credit card companies know that they can't monitor things like that, so they'll send you a pamphlet to do it yourself or do it online when they send your monthly bill.
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autodata
hustlin
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-05-28, 21:28

The other two major credit bureaus are TransUnion and Equifax and you can get also get your 3-bureau credit check through either one. Someone in the debt industry recommended TransUnion to me because their company goes through them, but I don't know if there is a significant difference between any of them. I would definitely go with one of the 3, though, and not an outside party.
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LudwigVan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2006-05-28, 23:44

The "Big Three" have also created a central web site for obtaining free credit reports: www.AnnualCreditReport.com

To quote from the site:
Quote:
AnnualCreditReport.com is a centralized service for consumers to request annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. ... AnnualCreditReport.com is the only service authorized by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for this purpose.
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Ebby
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Location: Over Yander
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2006-05-28, 23:51

My bank called my 5 minutes after I bought a MacBook. Nice, but my mom picked up and no one told her of the purchase. Had to hear it first from a guy on the phone.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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digitalAngel
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2006-05-29, 00:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windswept
My brother's bank just contacted him two weeks ago to tell him they were cancelling his current credit card number and issuing him a new card with a new number, because they suspected identity theft with his old card.
my bank did that to me too. i received a new bank card in the mail, but no notice by my bank as of why. when i called to ask, they said my old card number was flagged for possible fraudulent charges. i watch my accounts very closely and it's nice to have a bank watch out too.

i also used freecreditreport.com to get a copy of my report.. everything seemed correct but i canceled it before i had to pay for the credit monitoring. i just check my credit report annually just make sure everything is correct. i think credit monitor is a legit service, but you can get a copy of your credit report for about $8 per credit bureau which is much cheaper than paying $10 a month for a monitoring service.

this site has a lot of great information on ID Theft: http://calpirg.org/CA.asp?id2=3979&id3=CA&

i Believe, that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade.
And try to find somebody who's life gives them vodka, and have a party!
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*Joe*
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2006-05-29, 15:29

I don't know about the US, but in the UK banks monitor accouts for suspicious activity constantly. I work at a large UK retailer, and often if a customer makes a purchase that doesn't follow their 'pattern' (e.g: High value transaction when they don't ever make large transactions, or foreign travellers who are using their card in the UK for the first time) then the card terminal will request that we call the authorisation centre for a security check. This normally involves asking the customer their address, date of birth, password, and mothers maiden name, at which point the authorisation centre gives us a manual code to process the card with.

I have never used one of the credit reporting sites, but I have requested my credit report from experian and equifax, and that made for interesting reading.
In the UK there is a site which others have recommended called creditexpert, it is run by equifax so I assume they have a US version? That is supposed to be good anyway
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Benton
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2006-05-29, 23:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by LudwigVan
The "Big Three" have also created a central web site for obtaining free credit reports: www.AnnualCreditReport.com

To quote from the site:
Stagger requests from bureaus every four months allowing you to monitor over the year.
Protect yourself by asking bank to email when any transaction occurs.
  quote
LudwigVan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2006-05-29, 23:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benton
Stagger requests from bureaus every four months allowing you to monitor over the year.
Yeah, I'm considering at the moment whether to stagger my credit report requests and take my time cleaning them up, or just order them all in one big butch and do all the heavy lifting right away. (I read about these staggered requests on the site I mentioned in my previous post.)

Quote:
Protect yourself by asking bank to email when any transaction occurs.
Indeed. I set up some months ago automatic e-mail notices at my bank's web site to inform me 1.) when my available credit balance goes below a certain (rather high) point, and 2.) of any purchases of over a certain (small) dollar amount.
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Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2006-05-30, 12:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artap99
I had someone call me yesterday to tell me about identity theft They had my address wrong and my credit card wrong. I asked them to tell me information about myself and they couldn't.
A lot of people involved in fraud like to use the fraud as a way of giving people closure. The majority of the people who call your house that are talking about identity theft are most likely going to be frauds. The reason for this is that the credit card companies know that they can't monitor things like that, so they'll send you a pamphlet to do it yourself or do it online when they send your monthly bill.
Wow. I'm so glad I've never received a phone call like that, Artap. It sounds like you were really on top of the situation though.

I don't suppose you were able to get his phone number via 'caller id'?

I'm just remembering that my brother charged something once at an auto supply store, and apparently the female clerk there later used his card number to order $60 worth of pizzas over the phone - giving the name "Maria". Not exactly my brother's name, needless to say.

Also, apparently there is someone in a neighboring state who has an account with his same bank, and who is using his 'exact' name. I'd say it's virtually impossible that this is a legitimate person, because my brother has a *very* unusual name, and there's just NO way that another person could have the same combination of first, middle, and last names that he has. So he's going to have to start looking into that situation. *sigh*
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spotcatbug
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Clayton, NC
 
2006-05-30, 13:19

It was T-Mobile in Washington state that called to inform us (we're in PA) that my wife had been a victim of identity theft. We were so paranoid with the poor T-Mobile fraud prevention guy on the phone, basically refusing to give him any of our personal information. We could tell he had gone through that a lot, though. You never really think about it, but there's not a lot somebody like that can say on the phone to prove to you that they aren't scamming.

Ugh.
  quote
Windswept
On Pacific time
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Moderator's Pub
 
2006-05-30, 13:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotcatbug
It was T-Mobile in Washington state that called to inform us (we're in PA) that my wife had been a victim of identity theft. We were so paranoid with the poor T-Mobile fraud prevention guy on the phone, basically refusing to give him any of our personal information. We could tell he had gone through that a lot, though. You never really think about it, but there's not a lot somebody like that can say on the phone to prove to you that they aren't scamming.
Well, exactly. You know, in the back of my mind, I'm still feeling a little uncomfortable about that recent call from my bank checking on the legitimacy of my charges. I had to give a fair amount of identifying information.

The fact that they had a list of all my recent debit charges, large and small, was the main reason I believed it was a legitimate call. That, and the fact that the charges I had made that they were checking on *were* highly unusual for my account.

You know, the more I worry about all this, the more I'm starting to think that maybe I *should* just go ahead and sign up with one of these legitimate credit monitoring and protection companies. I would thoroughly check out the company itself though (with my bank, for example), before contacting them.

I'm beginning to think that $10 per month would be a small price to pay for guaranteed insurance against id theft - that is, if that's what they actually offer. I *really* don't like worrying about all this kind of stuff, and I think id theft is going to become more and more common.

It's one reason why I have only *one* credit card.
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