Identity theft?

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investor1
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:15 pm

Identity theft?

Post by investor1 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:08 pm

Welp, I woke up this morning to an email from the company that I use to monitor my credit.

Apparently, someone did a hard pull of my credit even though I have done nothing to initiate it. It was reported through TransUnion, and the pull reportedly came through a company called CommonBond in NYC. I Googled the company, and they seem to be legit. They handle student loans (I don't have any and don't want any). I called them, and they said they already knew about it as it happened to a lot of people and they'd work with the credit agency to expunge it from my credit history. They also posted this blog entry that basically says TransUnion did it.

I suspect my credit card info was recently stolen through the breach Albertson's, and I recently signed up for the free credit monitoring service offered as a result of that. I haven't heard from that company yet though.

I think I should freeze my credit, but I'm conerned about that affecting having the false inquery expunged. What should I do?

mhalley
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by mhalley » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:40 pm

A single inquiry isn't going to affect your credit score, so unless you are applying for a mortgage or auto loan soon I don't think it matters. For peace of mind, freezing your credit is not unreasonable.
http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/c ... iries.aspx
Mike

Mudpuppy
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:29 pm

From the blog post given, this does not appear to originate with CommonBond. In other words, an identity thief did not try to open a student loan in your name. This appears to have originated either within Transunion or somewhere between Transunion and CommonBond. It sounds more like a software or data entry glitch. A credit freeze isn't going to help you with a data entry or software glitch.

Unless something is seriously wrong within Transunion, in which case we'll all know about it in short order, I wouldn't panic over it. This doesn't appear to be identity theft. Just wait for them to reverse the glitch.

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Houston101
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Houston101 » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:11 pm

Looks like this happened to lot of people. Here is a similar discussion going on at fatwallet.com also.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1394703/

Mudpuppy
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:21 am

Lordie, that FatWallet thread reminds me how nice it is to have a well-moderated forum like Bogleheads. The amount of leaping to unsupported conclusions and calls for lawsuits over there is... well, astounding. It really makes me appreciate the more level-headed atmosphere of the Boglehead community.

And gleaning that thread for the few likely valid pieces of information, this is starting to sound like either a glitch on Transunion's part or wide-sweeping fraud that would make identity theft look like a picnic in comparison. Occam's Razor would lean towards it being a glitch.

investor1
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by investor1 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:48 am

Does anyone know if freezing your credit affects having false inquires expunged?

Mudpuppy
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:04 pm

investor1 wrote:Does anyone know if freezing your credit affects having false inquires expunged?
If it's a glitch on Transunion's end, I would just sit tight and let Transunion fix the glitch before freezing anything.

It's very likely NOT identity theft, so there's no reason to rush towards freezing your credit in reaction to this. If you were already planning to freeze your credit and just hadn't got around to it yet, wait until this is fixed.

Rupert
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Rupert » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:53 pm

investor1 wrote:Does anyone know if freezing your credit affects having false inquires expunged?
Freezing your credit will not result in the inquiry being expunged. Usually, only the merchant who pulled your credit in error can have an inquiry removed. Transunion and Experian will allow a consumer to challenge an inquiry as fraudulent, but you have to give them proof of fraud, e.g., a police report that you filed, etc. Equifax told me recently that they do not remove inquiries at the consumer's request, even if the consumer presents them with proof of fraud. They told me they will remove an inquiry only at the merchant's request. Makes no sense to me, but one of their so-called fraud investigators told me this within the past three months. (I expect someone to chime in and say they had a different experience with Equifax, and that wouldn't surprise me. I found them absolutely impossible to deal with and everyone I spoke to there seemed to have a different answer for whatever question I was asking. BTW, I had two police reports and a letter from the Secret Service to back up my claim that an inquiry was fraudulent. Also, Equifax agreed to remove a fraudulent account from my file that was connected to the fraudulent inquiry. But they refused to remove the inquiry. Dumb Dumb Dumb.)

investor1
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by investor1 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:30 pm

Yeah, I know freezing it won't expunged the record. CommonBond has already told me (and issued a public statement) that they are working with TransUnion to expunge the record from everyone involved.

In addition to that, I was also thinking of freezing my credit since I think my credit card info was recently stolen in a very possibly unrelated event. I'm wondering if doing so would affect CommonBond's / TransUnion's effort to expunge this record. If so, I'll likely wait until a have confirmation that my report has been cleaned up before freezing.

Thanks for the advice MP.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:24 pm

At the risk of sounding repetitive, give Transunion more than two weekend days to fix it. Once it is fixed, then freeze your credit.

Pizzasteve510
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Re: Identity theft?

Post by Pizzasteve510 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:14 pm

A new scam a friend fell for----bad guys go to USPS and forward your mail to a PO Box. Go through your mail, do their damage. This may have been connected to a planned extended vacation, as timing was suspicious.

Unfortunately the security on forwarding mail is weak, so if you stop receiving mail for a few days, chick with your local USPS office (if in USA).

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