ID theft and check cashing fraud

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Nate79
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Nate79 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:28 pm

I would suggest making sure to have a Credit Karma account before doing credit freeze. You might also look into a ChexSystems freeze as well (security freeze and security alert?).

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:17 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:28 pm
I would suggest making sure to have a Credit Karma account before doing credit freeze. You might also look into a ChexSystems freeze as well (security freeze and security alert?).
He already has a CK. Will check it out.

He went to the bank. Spent 2 hours there. They said they will investigate within 30 days. In the meantime, the account has been closed. He should not be liable for any of the fraud, ultimately, but he will likely have to wait the full 30 days to see the $500 that were in the account.

veggivet
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by veggivet » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:25 pm

Perhaps one of the reasons this crime is becoming more frequent is that the perps realize that it is unlikely there will be any type of meaningful investigation. Billions of dollars is involved, not to mention the time and frustration factor on the victim side.

DippityDoo
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by DippityDoo » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:57 pm

Rupert wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:16 pm
these sorts of crimes, which are often multi-jurisdictional (which is why local cops often won't/can't do it).
This is an excellent point. Having to deal with multiple jurisdictions adds to the aggravation of being victimized and helps thieves get away with their crimes. I hope everyone reading this thread checks their homeowner/renter policy to see if they have coverage for identity theft restoration/resolution services. If you don't, think about adding it. If you ever become a victim, you'll be glad you have the benefit.

The OP has my sympathy. I hope the crook slips up, gets caught, and locked up.

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whodidntante
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:48 pm

The perp stole his pants? I think that would upset me more than stealing my money, LOL.

cherijoh
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by cherijoh » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:17 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:16 pm
cherijoh wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:05 am
You have a negligent bank then. To cash any checks at my credit union and my back-up bank you have to provide them with your account number or swipe your ATM card and enter the pin before you can do any kind of transaction.
Good to know. The bank is Chase. By default, Chase does not issue an ATM card at all if you only have a savings account. He had requested one (which was left at home) for convenience, but otherwise, the normal way to do operations when you don't have a Chase ATM card is to show your ID at the bank. The bank still allows you to make transactions in person by presenting your ID even if you have an ATM card issued and leave it at home.
I'm not sure how easy it is to make fake IDs in your state these days, but unless the criminal made a fake ID the teller should have at least looked at the ID :oops:

Years ago, a friend of a friend had her purse stolen - including her checkbook. She worked at a bank so she reported everything - including that her checkbook has been stolen. But in those days it was easy to fake an ID and there weren't the same fraud protection alerts that we have now, so a thief might have gotten away with cashing a check and draining her account. But the thief was unlucky and chose the same branch where the woman with the stolen purse worked!! The teller knew her colleague's story and alerted security.

downshiftme
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by downshiftme » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:53 pm

After an identity theft attempt last year, the bank closed ALL accounts, even those unaffected, and opened all new accounts with all new account numbers. It was a small hassle, but prevented any future use of the old accounts in later schemes.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:03 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:17 pm
I'm not sure how easy it is to make fake IDs in your state these days, but unless the criminal made a fake ID the teller should have at least looked at the ID
They had a case locally where a woman's bag was stolen. The thief I guess looked enough like her that she just used the ID at the bank to make a withdrawal. Of course that then provided some nice security video which when it ran on the news quickly solved the case.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:44 pm

So he got a letter from Chase today in the mail. There is a copy of the fake check the thief cashed. It is from United Healthcare, which is not our health insurance company, and looks completely legit. The endorsement signature on the back does not look anything like his signature.
The thief did not even bother attempting to mimic his real signature which was on the stolen ID. That should make it easier to get the Chase incident resolved.

Bad news is, he also got a new Kohl's credit card in the mail today, which was never requested. This is one of the accounts that does not automatically download through Quicken. He logged in manually to the web site and it shows 3 purchases in December at 2 different stores - as well as 2 payments. The card had a $1000 limit, and he spent $1961.08 in total, as well as two payments totalling the same amount - one for $961.46 on 12/31 and one for $999.62 on 1/3 .Balance one the card is $0 now so the thief will likely try to spend the limit again !

His Kohl's card was at home and never stolen.

My guess is that the scammer presented the fake ID, claimed to have lost his Kohl's card, and been allowed by the stores to make charges. We are not missing money in any bank accounts, so I wonder where those payments were made from.

This thief must be on video in a lot of places by now . Total fraud is adding up to about $7000 by now.

Katietsu
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Katietsu » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:13 pm

The Kohl’s payments were probably made with fraudulent checks. I do think you may have enough now to indicate a true professional theft. This might get you the attention of law enforcement.

On another topic, it would be irresponsible to just hand over video surveillance to a random victim. There could be all sorts of bad outcomes from this.

Invest4lt
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Invest4lt » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm

The local PD told me that the minimum amount for follow up for this type of fraud is $25,000 (in my city). The Officer referenced budget cuts, volume of crime, and staffing make it unrealistic to pursue for lessor amounts. The Officer was sympathetic but explained the harsh reality in today’s world (at least where I live).

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BL
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by BL » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:20 am

Perhaps this site would be useful:
https://www.identitytheft.gov/

Check other .gov sites listed when ftc identity theft is searched on.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:05 am

Invest4lt wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm
The local PD told me that the minimum amount for follow up for this type of fraud is $25,000 (in my city). The Officer referenced budget cuts, volume of crime, and staffing make it unrealistic to pursue for lessor amounts. The Officer was sympathetic but explained the harsh reality in today’s world (at least where I live).
Looks like the thief managed to opened a new Lowe's account in my husband's name too with $8000 limit and spent $4481 . So we are now at almost $12K. There are other hard inquiries from Citi and Verizon too. This guy is working very fast an clearly a pro. I don't what the minimum is around here but this is certainly significant by now.

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StevieG72
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:39 am

Wow, what a headache.

Have you updated the police report? Created a new report for each incident?

What started as petty theft has led to much more serious crimes.

In my area this level of activity would be assigned to a financial crimes detective.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

mpsz
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by mpsz » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:56 am

madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:05 am
Looks like the thief managed to opened a new Lowe's account in my husband's name too with $8000 limit and spent $4481 . So we are now at almost $12K. There are other hard inquiries from Citi and Verizon too. This guy is working very fast an clearly a pro. I don't what the minimum is around here but this is certainly significant by now.
Why have you not frozen his credit yet? You can also place a fraud alert, in addition to the freeze, which will require these companies to contact you before opening new accounts.

2015
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by 2015 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:08 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:51 pm
madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:28 pm
Jeep512 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:20 pm
Just FYI - in my area, thieves are watching the parking lots of gyms, yoga studios, etc.

While the people are working out inside, they are stealing purses, etc from the vehicle.
Seems like these businesses need to have better security or lose membership.

In this case, the gym was 24-hour fitness. It was a 2-year prepaid membership through Costco. There is not even the recourse to cancel to get a refund.
That's the 24-hour fitness with large brightly colored signs posted around the locker room warning of theft problems... Gyms are a huge target for this stuff, both locker rooms and parking lots, and security can only go so far.

I don't take my wallet to the gym. I have a little folder with a paper copy of my driver's license (not truly sufficient for a traffic stop, but a cop here will look it up on his computer anyway) and one credit card that I take when I go (I don't try to fit the gym with other stops). I do take my phone, but that's one of the reasons why I don't have expensive phones.
^^^
This.
In the many decades I have been going to the gym, I have never taken anything of value into the gym. Even when I used to go before work, I only took my change of clothes. Only thing I ever took was my gym ID card, which required a photocopy of driver's license on the reverse side. Now with fingerprint ID, there's no need to even take that. In this same vein of prevention, I have never worn my wallet in my back pocket and never leave anything whatsoever in the car.

I used to (and still do) say that in the gym they'll steal your dirty underwear if they can get to it.

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runner9
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by runner9 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:15 pm

Invest4lt wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm
The local PD told me that the minimum amount for follow up for this type of fraud is $25,000 (in my city). The Officer referenced budget cuts, volume of crime, and staffing make it unrealistic to pursue for lessor amounts. The Officer was sympathetic but explained the harsh reality in today’s world (at least where I live).
Why won't the police at least pull a video from a store and put it on facebook/media? Around here the police do it all the time. Right now on Facebook and the major newspaper's website there's a search for a bird stolen from a pet store. A week ago they posted a photo on Facebook of a guy who stole a donation jar off a gas station counter with $20 in it. I'm not saying devote 100 man hours to solving but just getting a photo and putting online doesn't seem like to much to ask.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:16 pm

mpsz wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:56 am
madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:05 am
Looks like the thief managed to opened a new Lowe's account in my husband's name too with $8000 limit and spent $4481 . So we are now at almost $12K. There are other hard inquiries from Citi and Verizon too. This guy is working very fast an clearly a pro. I don't what the minimum is around here but this is certainly significant by now.
Why have you not frozen his credit yet? You can also place a fraud alert, in addition to the freeze, which will require these companies to contact you before opening new accounts.
I can't do it for him. Only he can. I have a job and he does not so he has far more time too. I told him to freeze credit on Wednesday night as soon as the check cashing incident was discovered. He argued the thief didn't have SSN and could not open new accounts. He finally started taking it seriously last night and got copies of all 3 reports. 2 of them are frozen and have a fraud alert on them.
The 3rd one wouldn't allow the freeze to be placed online. It requires snail mail! Maddening.
Chexsystems is next.
He has not updated the original police report yet but that's on the list.
He also needs to call the numbers for all the new credit inquiries on his reports to figure out the new accounts and stop further charges.
One of them is at Carmax. I hope the thief did not buy a car.

mpsz
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by mpsz » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:43 pm

madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:16 pm
I can't do it for him. Only he can. I have a job and he does not so he has far more time too. I told him to freeze credit on Wednesday night as soon as the check cashing incident was discovered. He argued the thief didn't have SSN and could not open new accounts. He finally started taking it seriously last night and got copies of all 3 reports. 2 of them are frozen and have a fraud alert on them.
The 3rd one wouldn't allow the freeze to be placed online. It requires snail mail! Maddening.
Chexsystems is next.
He has not updated the original police report yet but that's on the list.
He also needs to call the numbers for all the new credit inquiries on his reports to figure out the new accounts and stop further charges.
One of them is at Carmax. I hope the thief did not buy a car.
I'm glad to hear that. I'm sorry, I meant "you" in the sense of "both of you".

The good news is the fraud alert placed on the 1st bureau is required to notify the other 2 bureaus: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... raud-alert

So, the third bureau has the fraud alert on file and you are protected before any snail mail arrives. The fraud alert itself could be why you need to pace the freeze by mail.

cas
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by cas » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:41 pm

madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:16 pm

The 3rd one wouldn't allow the freeze to be placed online. It requires snail mail! Maddening.
Chexsystems is next.
Back after the Equifax hack, when a lot of people were attempting to freeze their credit reports, I seem to recall quite a few people who weren't able to place the freeze online, but were able to place it over the (automated) phone.

You might want to try googling something like "credit freeze phone site:bogleheads.org"

For example:

"Experian credit freeze by phone vs online" viewtopic.php?t=227544

"Can't freeze credit at Experian?" viewtopic.php?t=227326

(I didn't re-read these threads, so I don't know if they are the useful ones or not.)

denovo
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by denovo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:03 pm

madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:05 am
Invest4lt wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm
The local PD told me that the minimum amount for follow up for this type of fraud is $25,000 (in my city). The Officer referenced budget cuts, volume of crime, and staffing make it unrealistic to pursue for lessor amounts. The Officer was sympathetic but explained the harsh reality in today’s world (at least where I live).
Looks like the thief managed to opened a new Lowe's account in my husband's name too with $8000 limit and spent $4481 . So we are now at almost $12K. There are other hard inquiries from Citi and Verizon too. This guy is working very fast an clearly a pro. I don't what the minimum is around here but this is certainly significant by now.
This thief seems to be very diligent. Usually they after a few days, they move on to the next victim.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

mouses
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:20 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am
This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken.
At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make that determination ? SJPD said they would have come for car theft, without even asking about the vehicle's value. If the thief keeps it up, the damage could start approaching the cost of a car. The thief already made out with at least $5K so far - $2K from the stolen bank cards, $3K from this check cashing scam.
My experience as a victim of several crimes over the decades is that the police are not interested. Once the thief even conveniently left a dirty hand print on a white door and they did nothing to investigate. I don't know what gets their attention other than DUIs, murder, and bank robberies.

They are not interested in burglaries from houses or cars. The country is probably full of small time criminals making a nice living and never worrying about prison.

mouses
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:23 pm

runner9 wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:15 pm
Invest4lt wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:49 pm
The local PD told me that the minimum amount for follow up for this type of fraud is $25,000 (in my city). The Officer referenced budget cuts, volume of crime, and staffing make it unrealistic to pursue for lessor amounts. The Officer was sympathetic but explained the harsh reality in today’s world (at least where I live).
Why won't the police at least pull a video from a store and put it on facebook/media? Around here the police do it all the time. Right now on Facebook and the major newspaper's website there's a search for a bird stolen from a pet store. A week ago they posted a photo on Facebook of a guy who stole a donation jar off a gas station counter with $20 in it. I'm not saying devote 100 man hours to solving but just getting a photo and putting online doesn't seem like to much to ask.
+1

mouses
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by mouses » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:34 am

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:40 pm
Seems like IRS PIN is no longer an option :

https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-frau ... -ip-pin#q2
Q5: I’m a victim of identity theft. Can I get an IP PIN?

A5: You'll get an IP PIN if you meet one of the following criteria as a victim of tax-related identity theft:

You received an IP PIN last year, or
You received a CP01A notice, or
You received an IRS letter or notice inviting you to opt-in to get an IP PIN, or
You can opt-in if you filed your last tax return as a resident of Florida, Georgia or the District of Columbia.
None of these apply to us.
I would call the IRS anyway. It is crazy in this case not to have a pin.

My sympathies on all this nightmare.

I would really pursue getting video distributed. At this point I would be consulting a lawyer to get the police off their behinds. As mentioned above, in my area videos like this are on the web all the time and seem to always wind up with someone arrested.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:39 am

cas wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:41 pm
madbrain wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:16 pm

The 3rd one wouldn't allow the freeze to be placed online. It requires snail mail! Maddening.
Chexsystems is next.
Back after the Equifax hack, when a lot of people were attempting to freeze their credit reports, I seem to recall quite a few people who weren't able to place the freeze online, but were able to place it over the (automated) phone.

You might want to try googling something like "credit freeze phone site:bogleheads.org"

For example:

"Experian credit freeze by phone vs online" viewtopic.php?t=227544

"Can't freeze credit at Experian?" viewtopic.php?t=227326

(I didn't re-read these threads, so I don't know if they are the useful ones or not.)
Thanks. All 3 credit bureaus are frozen now and full of alerts (reported by us and various creditors). Chexsystems frozen too. He won't get the Chex systems report until another week, that's apparently in snail mail only.

He spoke to Verizon today - thief opened a new line, probably got a new phone, but they told him he wouldn't be responsible for any of it.

The Citi inquiry was for a Best buy credit card and apparently they denied it. That's the good news.

cas
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by cas » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:04 am

A couple of random thoughts:

1. (This one is paranoid, but shorter, so I'll write it first) Do you think you may be missing any mail from your mailbox? Or that the thief (or the thief's network, as the case may be) may have managed to sign themselves up for that USPS "Informed Delivery" service where images of all your incoming mail are emailed to (supposedly) you (but apparently anyone who can get through the security questions can do it)? It seems like your bad guys have info on bank accounts and credit cards that they shouldn't have. (Unless they are just trying lots of common places.) They *do* have your address,though. Is it possible they are seeing your incoming bank/credit card statements - either swiping them from the mailbox, looking at them in the mailbox, or via USPS Informed Delivery? (Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, "USPS ‘Informed Delivery’ Is Stalker’s Dream" https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/10/usp ... ers-dream/)

2. I have in the back of my mind that Equifax was providing a year's free subscription to their credit monitoring service ... and that, under pressure with Congressional hearings coming up last fall, they had extended the time that you (anyone in the USA, due to the Equifax security breech) had to sign up until sometime in January 2018. I don't remember the exact details. I haven't used it, but the experts seem to say that those types of services are useful for recovering from identity theft. I have no idea how the credit monitoring service compares to Credit Karma, in a case where actual ID theft has occurred.

Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, "The Equifax Breach: What You Should Know" https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the ... ould-know/ )
Q: So should I take advantage of the credit monitoring offer?

A: It can’t hurt, but I wouldn’t count on it protecting you from identity theft.

Q: Wait, what? I thought that was the whole point of a credit monitoring service?

A: The credit bureaus sure want you to believe that, but it’s not true in practice. These services do not prevent thieves from using your identity to open new lines of credit, and from damaging your good name for years to come in the process. The most you can hope for is that credit monitoring services will alert you soon after an ID thief does steal your identity.

Q: Well then what the heck are these services good for?

A: Credit monitoring services are principally useful in helping consumers recover from identity theft. Doing so often requires dozens of hours writing and mailing letters, and spending time on the phone contacting creditors and credit bureaus to straighten out the mess. In cases where identity theft leads to prosecution for crimes committed in your name by an ID thief, you may incur legal costs as well. Most of these services offer to reimburse you up to a certain amount for out-of-pocket expenses related to those efforts.

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CAsage
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by CAsage » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:22 am

There are actually 4 credit bureaus (I dug through an old Bogle post on credit freezing): Experian, Equifax, Transunion, and Innovis. Plus Chexsystems to lock opening bank savings/checking accounts. Major pain, but seems like the new normal.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the ... ould-know/

(several bogle threads on credit freeze were written at the time of the Equifax debacle)
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

MikeG62
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:29 am

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:26 am

...I rekeyed our 22 locks at home (glad I have smartkey locks!) since home keys were stolen too.
OP, sorry you had to go through all this. It's an incredible pain when some low life does what was done to your husband. Been a gym goer for 30 years myself (every morning before work - while I was working). As others have said, always locked my stuff up and never brought my wallet into the gym (of course that leaves the risk of loss in my car). However, I have heard stories of locks even being cut off lockers while members were working out, so there is no zero risk option. It is disappointing that this should even have to be worried about in the early morning hours at the gym.

Although off topic, I was struck by this statement. You really have 22 locks at home? :shock:
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:58 pm

cas wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:04 am
A couple of random thoughts:

1. (This one is paranoid, but shorter, so I'll write it first) Do you think you may be missing any mail from your mailbox? Or that the thief (or the thief's network, as the case may be) may have managed to sign themselves up for that USPS "Informed Delivery" service where images of all your incoming mail are emailed to (supposedly) you (but apparently anyone who can get through the security questions can do it)? It seems like your bad guys have info on bank accounts and credit cards that they shouldn't have. (Unless they are just trying lots of common places.) They *do* have your address,though. Is it possible they are seeing your incoming bank/credit card statements - either swiping them from the mailbox, looking at them in the mailbox, or via USPS Informed Delivery? (Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, "USPS ‘Informed Delivery’ Is Stalker’s Dream" https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/10/usp ... ers-dream/)
No, we are not missing any mail as far as we know. All our credit card bills come online, not in the mail.

Agree that the scammer has info they shouldn't have. Not exactly sure where they got it from, but I would guess they acquired the rest of the information online, maybe with the Equifax leak, or some other leak. Not all the leaks are disclosed.
2. I have in the back of my mind that Equifax was providing a year's free subscription to their credit monitoring service ... and that, under pressure with Congressional hearings coming up last fall, they had extended the time that you (anyone in the USA, due to the Equifax security breech) had to sign up until sometime in January 2018. I don't remember the exact details. I haven't used it, but the experts seem to say that those types of services are useful for recovering from identity theft. I have no idea how the credit monitoring service compares to Credit Karma, in a case where actual ID theft has occurred.

Brian Krebs, Krebs on Security, "The Equifax Breach: What You Should Know" https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the ... ould-know/ )
Q: So should I take advantage of the credit monitoring offer?

A: It can’t hurt, but I wouldn’t count on it protecting you from identity theft.

Q: Wait, what? I thought that was the whole point of a credit monitoring service?

A: The credit bureaus sure want you to believe that, but it’s not true in practice. These services do not prevent thieves from using your identity to open new lines of credit, and from damaging your good name for years to come in the process. The most you can hope for is that credit monitoring services will alert you soon after an ID thief does steal your identity.

Q: Well then what the heck are these services good for?

A: Credit monitoring services are principally useful in helping consumers recover from identity theft. Doing so often requires dozens of hours writing and mailing letters, and spending time on the phone contacting creditors and credit bureaus to straighten out the mess. In cases where identity theft leads to prosecution for crimes committed in your name by an ID thief, you may incur legal costs as well. Most of these services offer to reimburse you up to a certain amount for out-of-pocket expenses related to those efforts.
Thanks, sounds like something to pursue with Equifax.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:58 pm

CAsage wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:22 am
There are actually 4 credit bureaus (I dug through an old Bogle post on credit freezing): Experian, Equifax, Transunion, and Innovis. Plus Chexsystems to lock opening bank savings/checking accounts. Major pain, but seems like the new normal.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the ... ould-know/

(several bogle threads on credit freeze were written at the time of the Equifax debacle)
Thanks, I had never heard of Innovis. One more to go.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:00 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:29 am
madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:26 am

...I rekeyed our 22 locks at home (glad I have smartkey locks!) since home keys were stolen too.
OP, sorry you had to go through all this. It's an incredible pain when some low life does what was done to your husband. Been a gym goer for 30 years myself (every morning before work - while I was working). As others have said, always locked my stuff up and never brought my wallet into the gym (of course that leaves the risk of loss in my car). However, I have heard stories of locks even being cut off lockers while members were working out, so there is no zero risk option. It is disappointing that this should even have to be worried about in the early morning hours at the gym.

Although off topic, I was struck by this statement. You really have 22 locks at home? :shock:
Yeah, there is no zero risk option. Yes, we have a large home with a lot of doors to the outside. We have some locks inside too. With the smartkey, I can (and do) key them all to a single key since I would never want to have so many different keys and would never know which is which. I rekeyed all the locks myself to a brand new set of keys purchased at home depot.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:37 am

madbrain wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:58 pm
Agree that the scammer has info they shouldn't have. Not exactly sure where they got it from, but I would guess they acquired the rest of the information online, maybe with the Equifax leak, or some other leak. Not all the leaks are disclosed.
With his name, address, and DL number from the driver's license, any number of online sources on the "dark web" could have been used to retrieve his SSN. Equifax may have been large and splashy, but there have been other leaks over the years such as OPM and Anthem, where the data has been available on the dark web for a long while.

And I would not be surprised if this is a theft ring, rather than a single thief acting alone. The range and scope of what's happened since the driver's license was taken seems more like the actions of several people instead of just one person. Theft rings also have little concern over surveillance cameras since it's usually money mules who agree to take the risk of being caught on video in exchange for a small fee. There are plenty of people in desperate enough circumstances to agree to be a money mule.

On the positive side, if it was a theft ring, they've probably already done their damage and moved on to another target. It may still take months for the full scope of that damage to be revealed though.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:27 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:37 am
madbrain wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:58 pm
Agree that the scammer has info they shouldn't have. Not exactly sure where they got it from, but I would guess they acquired the rest of the information online, maybe with the Equifax leak, or some other leak. Not all the leaks are disclosed.
With his name, address, and DL number from the driver's license, any number of online sources on the "dark web" could have been used to retrieve his SSN. Equifax may have been large and splashy, but there have been other leaks over the years such as OPM and Anthem, where the data has been available on the dark web for a long while.

And I would not be surprised if this is a theft ring, rather than a single thief acting alone. The range and scope of what's happened since the driver's license was taken seems more like the actions of several people instead of just one person. Theft rings also have little concern over surveillance cameras since it's usually money mules who agree to take the risk of being caught on video in exchange for a small fee. There are plenty of people in desperate enough circumstances to agree to be a money mule.
I was hoping it was just an individual because so far everything that happened pointed to local activity.
However, this is no longer the case.

Today, he received a case of accessories for an iPhone X that was purchased at a store in Tampa, FL according to Verizon. Now, maybe the thief just took a trip down there, but that doesn't jive with some of the other locations and dates of inquiries on the credit report.
On the positive side, if it was a theft ring, they've probably already done their damage and moved on to another target. It may still take months for the full scope of that damage to be revealed though.
We can only hope he has indeed moved on. We certainly don't know the full scope of damages yet. We still don't have the info on Carmax.

Thief also applied for accounts at Lending Club and Prosper, but was not approved for any loans yet.

DippityDoo
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by DippityDoo » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:08 am

Wow, I sympathize with what you're going through. Has the police report been amended? If it has been, and if you haven't received a response, the staff at ITRC may have some suggestions for you if you call. You shouldn't have to fight this kind of crime on your own.

Also, when DMV replaced the driver license, did they issue a new license number? Did they void the old number or flag it as stolen?

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:02 pm

DippityDoo wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:08 am
Wow, I sympathize with what you're going through. Has the police report been amended? If it has been, and if you haven't received a response, the staff at ITRC may have some suggestions for you if you call. You shouldn't have to fight this kind of crime on your own.
Police report hasn't been amended yet - I think he is going to talk to them today. Thanks for the link.
Also, when DMV replaced the driver license, did they issue a new license number? Did they void the old number or flag it as stolen?
Same number, different expiration date. Not sure if there is a process in CA for changing it. On the list. Same for SSN ...

DippityDoo
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by DippityDoo » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:37 pm

Same number, different expiration date. Not sure if there is a process in CA for changing it.
If you scroll about half way down this page to the section on stolen Driver Licenses, it sounds like a fraud alert and change of license number are possible if you talk to the California DMV Fraud Hotline. I agree with the comment above that it sounds like your husband's info is being used by an ID theft ring or is being sold on an illicit web site. A change of license ID number may help prevent some future headaches. I sincerely hope you get some law enforcement or other assistance soon.

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sergeant
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by sergeant » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:19 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am
This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken.
At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make that determination ? SJPD said they would have come for car theft, without even asking about the vehicle's value. If the thief keeps it up, the damage could start approaching the cost of a car. The thief already made out with at least $5K so far - $2K from the stolen bank cards, $3K from this check cashing scam.
Every police force in California has a different policy on when to investigate a property crime and the dollar amount involved. Some will respond on any theft but most will only send an officer and assign an investigator when there is viable suspect information and the theft is higher than what their policy states. EVERY agency will take a report for identity theft because they're required to by statute. There might not be much of an investigation but you will at least get it documented and a report number for giving the financial institutions.

SJPD would come out if there was a vehicle theft because cops don't like people driving G rides. People in G rides are dangerous. Most violent crimes such as drive by shootings and armed robberies are done in stolen cars. It makes sense to go above and beyond to investigate vehicle thefts.

This has gone way past one thief. You're dealing with a group of thieves.
Lincoln 3 EOW!

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:20 pm

I will point out that not all jurisdictions shrug off small property crimes. I had a break-in some years ago. Thief didn't get much because I don't have a lot of attractive stuff. I think he took a few CDs and a bit of cash. Apparently he was annoyed by this, and poured out some cans of soda in the garage. The local police sent a sizeable team that not only took the report and walked around the house to check everything with me, but canvassed the neighborhood and took fingerprints from the soda cans. I heard later they caught the guy.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by wfrobinette » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:55 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am
This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken.
At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make that determination ? SJPD said they would have come for car theft, without even asking about the vehicle's value. If the thief keeps it up, the damage could start approaching the cost of a car. The thief already made out with at least $5K so far - $2K from the stolen bank cards, $3K from this check cashing scam.
I went through something similar several years ago and at a much smaller scale. I even tracked the guy down via a fraudulent charge for pizza hut delivery to a hotel in Richmond, VA. I called the cops in Richmond and they said thanks and asked If my bank/card issuers reimbursed me for fraud. My answer was it's in process. Detective said then It's up to the bank(s) to file a complaint as you actually have no loss.

There are billions in retail fraud a year. This is still chump change to the banks and even the retailers.

Go after each and everyone of the cards and banks and you'll get the reimbursement. You have every right to file a report with the police. They can choose to act or not.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 pm

wfrobinette wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:55 pm
madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am
This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken.
At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make that determination ? SJPD said they would have come for car theft, without even asking about the vehicle's value. If the thief keeps it up, the damage could start approaching the cost of a car. The thief already made out with at least $5K so far - $2K from the stolen bank cards, $3K from this check cashing scam.
I went through something similar several years ago and at a much smaller scale. I even tracked the guy down via a fraudulent charge for pizza hut delivery to a hotel in Richmond, VA. I called the cops in Richmond and they said thanks and asked If my bank/card issuers reimbursed me for fraud. My answer was it's in process. Detective said then It's up to the bank(s) to file a complaint as you actually have no loss.

There are billions in retail fraud a year. This is still chump change to the banks and even the retailers.

Go after each and everyone of the cards and banks and you'll get the reimbursement. You have every right to file a report with the police. They can choose to act or not.
My husband went to the police and filed police reports for identity theft, and also went to the financial division. They said they would investigate, but so far, nothing.

Chase still refuses to budge on the forged check and just assessed a monthly fee on the savings for having a negative balance.

We got success with Kohl's (Capital One), who finally retroactively cancelled the charges (and payments that bounced). He subsequently closed the card.

No success with Lowe's yet.

CarMax sent him certified mail claiming they found no evidence of identity theft and asking him to sign an affidavit. The paperwork included the last 4 numbers of 2 VINs for a contract supposedly signed on 1/6. So, it would appear the thief may actually have financed 2 cars in his name, contrary to what they told him when he first called. Since he returned the affidavit, CarMax refuses to talk to him about it.

It doesn't seem like this is such an easy fight, so far.

elderwise
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by elderwise » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:03 pm

Sorry you have to go through this.

But who foots the bill when the iPhone is purchased, cards are used to purchase - is this bad debt on the lender / verizon / bank's books?

i.e of course they will not charge this to OP...

KATNYC
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by KATNYC » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 pm
wfrobinette wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:55 pm
madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:54 am
This happens a few thousand times a day in the USA. If you think you are going to ask the local police department to assign an investigator to something this small you are mistaken.
At which point and in which amount does it become worthy of investigation, in your estimation, and who should make that determination ? SJPD said they would have come for car theft, without even asking about the vehicle's value. If the thief keeps it up, the damage could start approaching the cost of a car. The thief already made out with at least $5K so far - $2K from the stolen bank cards, $3K from this check cashing scam.
I went through something similar several years ago and at a much smaller scale. I even tracked the guy down via a fraudulent charge for pizza hut delivery to a hotel in Richmond, VA. I called the cops in Richmond and they said thanks and asked If my bank/card issuers reimbursed me for fraud. My answer was it's in process. Detective said then It's up to the bank(s) to file a complaint as you actually have no loss.

There are billions in retail fraud a year. This is still chump change to the banks and even the retailers.

Go after each and everyone of the cards and banks and you'll get the reimbursement. You have every right to file a report with the police. They can choose to act or not.
My husband went to the police and filed police reports for identity theft, and also went to the financial division. They said they would investigate, but so far, nothing.

Chase still refuses to budge on the forged check and just assessed a monthly fee on the savings for having a negative balance.

We got success with Kohl's (Capital One), who finally retroactively cancelled the charges (and payments that bounced). He subsequently closed the card.

No success with Lowe's yet.

CarMax sent him certified mail claiming they found no evidence of identity theft and asking him to sign an affidavit. The paperwork included the last 4 numbers of 2 VINs for a contract supposedly signed on 1/6. So, it would appear the thief may actually have financed 2 cars in his name, contrary to what they told him when he first called. Since he returned the affidavit, CarMax refuses to talk to him about it.

It doesn't seem like this is such an easy fight, so far.
This is insanity! A thief from the gym bought Verizon phones, Kohl's goods, Lowe's goods & now possibly financed 2 cars in addition to bounced checks. This cannot be one person. It's just not possible since they didn't steal enough info at the gym to do all of this.
This makes my stolen credit cards by kids who broke my car window and tried to buy candy at a neighboring store seem like a walk in the park.

I was given the SSN of someone else (I'd cosigned a loan which I recommend NOBODY EVER DO) and the company who called about the late payment ended up giving me the SSN of the person (I hadn't saved it). My presumption is the thief (thieves) are smooth talkers and got updated ID with their photos and his info.

Hopefully, the thief will do something stupid to gt caught. A thief had furniture delivered to their own home address after buying it with a stolen card (friend's mom) and police caught them.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:21 pm

KATNYC wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 pm
This is insanity! A thief from the gym bought Verizon phones, Kohl's goods, Lowe's goods & now possibly financed 2 cars in addition to bounced checks. This cannot be one person. It's just not possible since they didn't steal enough info at the gym to do all of this.
It's very likely not one person, but still could be. Some of the fraud occurred as a result of the the theft of wallet/ID/credit cards, but others would have required additional information like SSN, which must have been obtained separately, likely online . There have been many security breaches including at Equifax which likely make that possible. That said, if the information is already all online and out there, I wonder why those thiefs would even wait to have a stolen ID and card in hand to steal the identity.
My presumption is the thief (thieves) are smooth talkers and got updated ID with their photos and his info.
I don't know, I doubt that's the case somehow. More likely a case of someone who looks like somewhat similar. ID photos can be really old- 5 to 10 years. If the thief is of the same ethnicity and similar age - or found an accomplice who is - then forging the ID with their photo wouldn't be required.
Hopefully, the thief will do something stupid to gt caught. A thief had furniture delivered to their own home address after buying it with a stolen card (friend's mom) and police caught them.
I think we are dealing with one or more professionals here. Maybe they will make a mistake, but more than likely, they won't.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:23 pm

elderwise wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:03 pm
Sorry you have to go through this.

But who foots the bill when the iPhone is purchased, cards are used to purchase - is this bad debt on the lender / verizon / bank's books?

i.e of course they will not charge this to OP...
I think for all the fraud that involved misuse of existing credit, or new credit that the thief applied for and obtained, ultimately the lenders will have to eat it somehow, but it's taking time and of course some don't want to acknowledge the fraud.
I'm still not sure what will happen with the forged check.

KATNYC
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by KATNYC » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:04 am

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:21 pm
KATNYC wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:31 pm
This is insanity! A thief from the gym bought Verizon phones, Kohl's goods, Lowe's goods & now possibly financed 2 cars in addition to bounced checks. This cannot be one person. It's just not possible since they didn't steal enough info at the gym to do all of this.
It's very likely not one person, but still could be. Some of the fraud occurred as a result of the the theft of wallet/ID/credit cards, but others would have required additional information like SSN, which must have been obtained separately, likely online . There have been many security breaches including at Equifax which likely make that possible. That said, if the information is already all online and out there, I wonder why those thiefs would even wait to have a stolen ID and card in hand to steal the identity.
My presumption is the thief (thieves) are smooth talkers and got updated ID with their photos and his info.
I don't know, I doubt that's the case somehow. More likely a case of someone who looks like somewhat similar. ID photos can be really old- 5 to 10 years. If the thief is of the same ethnicity and similar age - or found an accomplice who is - then forging the ID with their photo wouldn't be required.
Hopefully, the thief will do something stupid to gt caught. A thief had furniture delivered to their own home address after buying it with a stolen card (friend's mom) and police caught them.
I think we are dealing with one or more professionals here. Maybe they will make a mistake, but more than likely, they won't.
We have a ton of alerts on our email & phone for charges as well as credit report alerts for any new credit applications.
I just check and it's through Credit Karma.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by glock19 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:24 am

Wakefield1 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:15 pm
It is likely that other members of that gym have had locker theft or breakin problems.
There is something wrong if the gym will not cooperate with the victim as to the fact that they had surveillance video but will not act on it.
Likely the thief checks for lockers that can be robbed from time to time-may even be a member of the gym or be someone who works there or knows someone who works there.
I certainly hope the gym doesn't have camera's in the locker room! At least, not at my gym!

However, good possibility they have cameras on the locker room exit, so matching up folks leaving shortly after the theft with similar times of other locker room robberies could yield a suspect. As mentioned above, it's unlikely the bank or other businesses the thief tried to cash checks would cooperate to compare camera footage. All in all, this could probably be solved but don't leave it up to the police.

I had credit cards stolen a few years ago, and basically knew the identities of the thieves. Local PD had no interest in pursuing.

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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by N1CKV » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:45 pm

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:19 pm
CarMax sent him certified mail claiming they found no evidence of identity theft and asking him to sign an affidavit. The paperwork included the last 4 numbers of 2 VINs for a contract supposedly signed on 1/6. So, it would appear the thief may actually have financed 2 cars in his name, contrary to what they told him when he first called. Since he returned the affidavit, CarMax refuses to talk to him about it.

It doesn't seem like this is such an easy fight, so far.
You may want to contact the DMV to get a record of all vehicles registered to his name. You certainly don't want to start dealing with this person getting traffic tickets from speed/redlight/toll cameras or dealing with hit and run reports etc. linked back to him.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

madbrain
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Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

Post by madbrain » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:50 pm

Good news, Chase has finally dealt with the bad check and refunded it to the savings. They refunded the bad check fee also. But they didn't refund the monthly fee for not meeting minimum balance - we have to ask about that separately - don't expect any issue.

CarMax also gave him satisfaction, acknowledged ID theft, and removed the credit inquiry from his report.

The only outstanding ones we know of so far that are not resolved yet are Lowe's and Verizon accounts.

CA law provides that locking/unlocking of credit reports is free for identity theft. He will need to make more affidavits of ID theft to send to all 5 bureaus (Equifax, Experian, Transunion, Innovis, Chexsystems) in order to benefit from that. Not sure if any of the five $10 freeze fees he paid so far can be refunded.

I'm really looking forward to this being resolved. We have been engaging in manufactured spending and churning card and bank accounts in the past. Obviously he had to stop doing this after the ID theft - I have continued. I'm not sure if he will still be able to open new accounts in the future given all the fraud alerts. We'll see. If not, this could be very costly as we each net at least $5000/year in various new bank account bonuses, credit card bonuses, brokerage transfer bonuses, etc, which pays for most of our vacations these days.

CreditKarma showed that his credit score was higher than mine even though he hasn't worked in years - I have been the breadwinner. He just claims half of my income on his credit applications, which is perfectly legitimate under California community property law (half of income belongs to the spouse). His credit score has been a little higher because he hasn't applied for as many accounts as I have. Both were over 800, though.

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