Cellular Phone Company made it Too Easy - Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

November 1, 1999

I recently received a call from Voicestream Cellular welcoming me to their company. One problem, I never opened an account with this company. They had my correct name, address and SSN. However, my date of birth (DOB) was incorrect.

The Credit Grantor Ignored Her

July 1, 1999

Approximately four years ago I was a victim of true-name fraud where none of my own accounts were touched or anything was stolen from me. Someone just stole my personal information and started to open accounts under my name.

Identity Theft Victim Story: "A Virginian Vents"

May 1, 1999

My husband's two major credit cards were taken from his wallet very selectively on Saturday, May 22.  The cards were inside a very small wallet which was located in a box in the car.  It was not clearly visible  and the car was locked...Within two hours, the thief had generated a fake ID with a fake  address and phone number...Within three hours, the Discover credit card security department called and left a message at our home about suspicious purchases.  Nonetheless, the thief managed to spend over $6800 on high-end laptop computers in less than four hours!

Bari Nessel Case by Linda Foley

April 1, 1999

I am one of Bari Nessel's victims. Along with my identity she took my trust in people, especially employers, she stole my sense of security and financial safety, and she took my ability to get credit cards, loans or purchase a major ticket item without going through hours of red tape, only to possibly have my purchase or credit request rejected.

Getting the Run-Around in Illinois

February 1, 1999

Regardless of how many times I have been told that I am not, I am a victim. Our police agencies need to realize that having one's identity stolen is emotionally painful, humiliating, and costly. I have spent an ungodly number of hours trying to correct the damage that has been done by the individual who stole my identity. Professionally, as a teacher and tutor, my hours are worth thirty-five dollars. I have been robbed of $5,250 in time. I have been humiliated in my local stores because my checks have been rejected at the check out, and I am emotionally drained. I am a victim, and Congress needs to recognize me as such.

Joe's Story: "The burden is entirely on the victim to prove fraud over and over again"

I first became aware that someone was using my identity very early in the chain of events on July 16, 1999, thanks to a perceptive account representative named at Sears Credit Central in Louisville KY. The rep contacted me for verification of an unusual request after someone impersonating me on the telephone attempted to take control of my Sears charge account. The caller claimed a fire had destroyed my house and all my records, and requested a replacement charge card be sent to a Los Angeles address.

How to Use the Chronology of Data Breaches

How to Use the Chronology of Data Breaches

Coping with Identity Theft: Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Fact Sheet 17Coping with Identity Theft:
Reducing the Risk of Fraud

Identity Theft: What to Do if It Happens to You

Fact Sheet 17aIdentity Theft:
What to Do if It Happens to You

How to Deal with a Security Breach

Fact Sheet 17bHow to Deal with a Security Breach

Have you received a letter or an e-mail informing you that your personal information may have gotten into the wrong hands?   Or perhaps a media report alerted you to a security breach at a company you do business with.

It is increasingly common for companies, educational institutions, and government agencies -- whether or not their state has a breach notice law -- to notify individuals when computer files containing personal information have been hacked, stolen, or lost. If the file includes Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, driver's license numbers -- in short, data that would be useful to identity thieves -- there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of fraud. So, what should you do  if you suspect that your personal information has been compromised? First, don't panic. A security breach does not necessarily mean that you will become a victim of identity theft.

This guide provides instructions on ways to reduce your risk of identity theft. And if the worst happens and you do become a victim of fraud, this guide points you to other sources of information about identity theft.

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