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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Looking on the bright side

It's easy to become alarmed from reading Dan Solove's far too regular posts about the perils of identity theft.  But hey, look on the bright side.  If your identity is stolen, you may be able to partly protect yourself -- and contain some of the damage -- by simply requesting a "credit freeze" that will prevent any further credit from being issued in your name.

Right?

Posted by Kaimi Wenger on June 22, 2005 at 04:48 PM in Information and Technology | Permalink

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Comments

I think it was an alert rather than a freeze. We asked for the agencies to make it impossible for someone to get credit under my name and SSN without jumping through every hoop imaginable, but I think it ended up as just an alert.

Posted by: Paul Stancil | Jun 22, 2005 5:51:46 PM

As the victim of the identity theft Christine (my wife) described, I can indeed verify that it stunk. On ice. In fact, it was even worse than she described. Over the course of my own personal investigation, I discovered that the same individual or individuals had actually run up over $9000.00 in cell phone bills using my name and SSN. How did their gravy train end? They finally decided to open up an account with my existing service provider. When I answered a cell phone call from an alert service representative who noticed I already had an account with them, she was pretty sure the guy in the store using my name wasn't me.

But it was pretty weird to get a call when the guy claiming to be me was still there in the store. We tried to get the police to go right over, but he got suspicious and bugged out before we could even reach a cop that would have told us they weren't interested anyway.

Posted by: Paul Stancil | Jun 22, 2005 5:49:18 PM

The story over at the Conglomerate Blog you link to involves a fraud alert, not a credit freeze. (See the comment by Chris over at the Conglomerate). A credit freeze requires the creditor to unfreeze the file before obtaining it. The fraud alert just involves a number to call, but the report isn't frozen. Thus, a fraud alert can be readily ignored. A credit freeze cannot, since the file is locked until consent is verified.

Posted by: Daniel Solove | Jun 22, 2005 5:42:30 PM

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