Identity Theft Prevention/Identity theft

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Question
Hi Mr. Ross,
I'm a 63 year old lady who desperately needed a small loan and did something so stupid approx. 12 days ago. I went online and you know the rest. since then I've gotten calls from various states in the U.S., Switzerland, Malaysia, Cambodia, Canada and Japan and some other countries all day long, every day saying my loan has been approved and bla bla bla....I am so screwed and so scared. What is happening? I'm going to file a report to the police dept. tomorrow, but can you give me some suggestions on what I can do now? Can I get that Life Lock thing now? PLEASE get back with me. Thank you so much.
Paula

Answer
Paula,

While it's regrettable that you find yourself in this situation, there are some actions you can take to minimize the risk of financial damage or other harm.

First, make a list of the information you submitted in applying for the loan, and a copy of the online pages (or e-mails) you used to make the application.

Print out this information and add anything else you can remember.

Next, I would suggest making a police report at your local police station, and be sure to get a copy of the report including the number assigned by the police department.

If you have transmitted any information on deposit or credit accounts, you should notify the bank or other financial institution involved.  Have you seen any unusual or unauthorized activity in any of these accounts?  Be sure to discuss when you notify the banks/credit unions, etc.

You will also want to check with the 3 major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to see if there have been any unusual occurrences there.

Typically, unless you already have some sort of identity theft program in place, you would have to pay a substantial fee to have a certified professional resolve your situation.

Unless you sent specific account information and personal information with the application, it's likely that you will not see unusual transactions or new accounts reported.

You may submit further questions if I can be of assistance.

I hope that helps.

Identity Theft Prevention

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Yan Ross

Expertise

Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) -- providing responses to questions on identity theft prevention and restoration for consumers and holders of protected information (Personally Identifiable Information)

Experience

Recognized and quoted authority in the area of Identity Theft. Principal Contributing Author to the Identity Theft Risk Management Study Guide published by the Institute of Consumer Financial Education. Frequent lecturer on this subject to attorneys and other professionals, as well as law enforcement and community groups.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University -- Juris Doctor, Yale Law School -- Accredited Educator for numerous professional disciplines

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University -- Juris Doctor, Yale Law School -- Accredited Educator for numerous professional disciplines

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