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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Identity-theft software

    Does any one know any good Identity Theft software. My sister has had her identity stolen for the second time in a dozen years and is asking. I have never researched any of these apps, if there are any. If someone could offer good alternatives that would be awesome.
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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Ted, having a NAT router, good software FW & AV program is usually all thats needed. For higher levels try this :- http://www.qfxsoftware.com/download.htm
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    I tend to agree with RR.

    However, speaking from experience, identity theft can occur offline as well as online: my personal credit card was compromised a couple of years ago.

    I'll avoid going over the details, but suffice to say I was a mildly annoyed (to put it politely) at the bank's acceptance of a forged signature on a change of address form.

    To help alert me to any possible re-occurrence, I set up alerts on my personal and business accounts so that any changes to the account names or addresses, or any changes to my contact details or preferences are sent to me by SMS for confirmation. I also setup up regular SMS text balance and transaction alerts too. Finally, I upgraded my account to include a credit checking service that alerts me if an credit agreements are taken out in my name.

    Depending on your sister's specific circumstances these might be worthwhile things to do if her bank allows it.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    RR, her identity was NOT stollen on line, it was originally stollen off line over 10 years ago. Recently she has begun receiving dozens of credit cards she did not order and she believes the culprits are the same from many years ago. I do not know exactly what she is asking for but thought I would pose the question here.

    Tinto, I do believe she has set up controls with her bank, but I would have to check further. She and my brother-in-law recently moved from New York to Florida, so I do not believe the theft was through her address or bank, although I'm not certain.

    I will attempt to gain further knowledge from her and post back. Like I said, I'm not really sure what she is looking for.
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  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This is a copy of the original email my sister sent. Perhaps it will give some hints while I'm waiting for a response to some further questions I posed to her:

    Have you ever done research on identity theft programs? If so, which have you heard good things about? Im not sure if ???? would go for it or not. Once again my identity has been stolen. It all goes back to when it happened a few years ago. Now with the change of address it has our FL address but still our NY phone number. ???? read that people hang on to the information and use it again years down the road or sell the information to others. Ive received numerous credit cards I didnt apply for and numerous letters denying me a credit card because Ive supposedly applied for too many. I have, of course, contacted the credit bureaus and have a fraud alert on our records. Once it happens, it is never-ending. Its a real pain to contact everybody and get it straightened out. Its a nightmare.
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    Ted, in the UK, there is a association known as CIFAS (www.cifas.org) that, among other things, helps victims and gives sound advice on additional measures.

    I have a protective registration provided by my bank as a result of the compromise I mentioned. It causes additional checks to be made when taking out credit or when attempting to use potentially compromised cards. It's a real pain standing in the checkout queue knowing you're going to be asked for additional proof of ID and online shopping can be a nightmare, but it does stop further fraud on the accounts. After about a year, the additional checking seemed to reduce a bit, but I still get tripped up sometimes.

    Not sure if there is similar on your side of the pond, but I would expect there would be something like it.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Thanks Tinto, I will pass this along to her.
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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Ted,

    Here's my advice for what it's worth.


    1. Skip the software and services like LifeLine. They are mostly smoke and mirrors you pay for nothing.
    2. Use AnnualCreditReport.com {the official government mandated site for free credit reports} this allows you to get 1 credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year so if you just order from a different one every 4 months you can keep a continuous check on your credit report for suspicious activity. Mark the dates on your calendar to remind you each year, I do this in Outlook.
    3. Setup online access to all your credit cards and monitor them for unusual activity and notify the CC company immediately if you notice something.
    4. Always notify your CC company when you plan to travel so they don't deny charges when you are away from home. Many of their fraud algorithms will flag this kind of activity. Of course #3 &#4 are easier if you only have and use a couple of CCs!
    5. Don't EVER give your CC# to anyone who calls you! Even if you think they are legit. Call the company via a number you get from your records or look them up on the Internet...don't use a number the caller gives you. This also applies to some calling to say the represent your CC company. Call the number on the back of your card.
    6. Don't reply to Emails from your financial institutions, e.g. CC, Banks, Mutual funds, etc. Either log on to your account or call the institution.
    7. Always be skeptical!


    I guess you get the idea by now. Stay safe. :cheers

    P.S. I almost forgot to follow the previous advice on Router, AV, Spam Filter, WOT, etc.
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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    RR, her identity was NOT stollen on line, it was originally stollen off line over 10 years ago. Recently she has begun receiving dozens of credit cards she did not order and she believes the culprits are the same from many years ago. I do not know exactly what she is asking for but thought I would pose the question here.
    Hi Ted, I bank with The Royal Bank of Scotland. All I have is a Debit Card which can be used at many stores just by entering a 4 digit pin. If I use it for an 'Online' purchase, I have to enter a randomly generated set of 3 numbers from my 4 pin number & another randomly generated 4 items from my 16 mixed digit/characters password.
    Being very security minded, I never have had a credit card, which is why I'm not a paying lounge member as they don't accept UK debit cards.
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  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    I'm with RetiredGeek, the services are not really going to do much.

    Tell her to freeze her credit. For something like $10 (per credit beaureu) you can have each of the consumer reporting agencies put a freeze on them doling out reports. This prevents anyone (including yourself!) from opening new cards, getting loans, etc. To unfreeze, pay another $10. If I'm not mistaken, people who have been victims of identity theft can have it done for free. Check each credit bureau as each has it own procedure for freezing credit. I have a friend who does this and he said its really not that big of a deal to arrange.

    One more thing I thought of, if she isn't already shredding old personal documents, she should. Anything with any personal information other than items that are a matter of public record.
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-07-27 at 15:17. Reason: Add comment about shredding
    Chuck

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I will pass this along to her. Thanks Doc.
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    See if New AVG suite defends your digits is of any interest.

    NOTE: Not an endorsement. I just saw this and know nothing other than what I read in the article.

    Joe

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe, I will pass this along to her.

    I wish to thank everyone who took the time to look at and supply possible solutions to my sister. This is what makes this forum great. Thank you to all!
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  14. #14
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    Perfectly true NOT to give out private info and credit card number to who ever call you, even if it is the fraud department of the credit card company!
    My experience:
    1. Received phone call, claiming from my credit card fraud department (saying "This is VISA fraud department ..."
    2. Claimed fraudulent use of my VISA was suspected. Needed to verify. Needed my social security number, Mother's maiden name ...
    2. Called me "Mr. FirstNameInitial LastName." (Not using full FirstName. She did not know the primary card holder name was my wife!)
    3. I was suspicious. Also, my VISA previously warned never to give info to anyone calling, including their own initiated call!
    4. So I asked repeatedly what was my full FirstName and my middle initial.
    5. Long story short, she finally said, "There's a fool borne every minute ..." then hung up.

    When the real fraud dept. calls, the VISA person understands, and will ask us to call back using the phone number on the card. We had this experience as well.

  15. #15
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    One company which takes identity theft very seriously is Abine. Check out their Site for their offerings, some free, some paid, which may give a lot of help to anyone, especially before identity theft has occurred. Their opt-outs are USA only.
    -- Bob Primak --

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