Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, more identity theft occurrences will happen. The most targeted group for identity theft is the 60 plus or better, the Hispanic Americans, ethnic surnames or basically anyone else.
Over the past month we had three cases for identity theft. The first two cases were in Naples and the other case was in Boynton Beach, luckily the perpetrators in two cases were not smart and caused minimal damage to our clients’ credit reports. Our definition of minimal damage means, charge offs that are $5,000 or less on the client’s credit report and to the creditor. In both scenarios, the clients were 60 plus and better that were referred to our company and initiated fast damage control for them. The third case was completed by the consumer himself and inquired to make sure his credit was intact after his identity theft. All three clients began by filing a police report, and that is what you need to do. If you don’t have a police report, you will have difficulties working with creditors to remove the deroagotories off the credit report because there is no proof of evidence.
60 Plus and Better
The client in Naples has a common surname, luckily the perpetrator was not smart, and he took our client’s information and used the internet to initiate lending. He contacted the lender where the credit application started; they closed the account right away. Luckily, our customer caught the transaction and contacted our company immediately. We assisted the business client by locking his credit report immediately with Experian and Equifax. We also assisted the client by directing the credit bureaus to place a credit freeze, for this business owner who didn’t want to hassle with the paperwork and correspondences. A credit freeze is an excellent tool, especially after identity theft. Consumers solely have access to freeze and unfreeze their credit file. A potential lender cannot obtain your information when a credit freeze is in place on your credit file. If you apply for a business loan or consumer loan, you personally have to unfreeze your credit file by the assigned pin for the lender to have access to it. Later, you are able to freeze back your credit once your financing is complete. The credit bureaus understand the priority to resolve any derogatories from a credit file that has been tampered by identity theft.
The second client in Boynton Beach was not so luckily, her purse was stolen months before. Sadly, identity theft perpetrators in South Florida aggressively target the 60 plus and better all the time. A targeted theft because that day the criminals stole five purses from a park that 60 plus and better are known to be. She did not initiate a police report, credit lock or credit freeze because she was unfamiliar with the entire identity theft process. We worked closely with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office to assist them with her identity theft; we provided them with more information about the perpetrators activity and possible whereabouts, since there were multiple addresses and phone numbers on several credit applications. Luckily, one of the lenders provided us with all the application information the perpetrator used to obtain new credit. Our company discovered the identity theft thugs applied for a credit card processor. Evidently, the credit cards they stole were to be swiped for fraudulent purchases by a bogus company, they set up. Our company raced against time to stop the credit damage immediately and succeeded!
Whenever, your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, it is a requirement to start a credit freeze immediately, to have minimal damage or no damage on your finances. Here are some quick steps to help you when your wallet or purse is lost or stolen:
- If you purse or wallet was stolen, go online lock your credit immediately with the credit bureaus
- After your purse or wallet was stolen and have unfamiliar transactions with your bank or credit, file a police report immediately and again lock your credit online with the credit bureaus and contact your bank and lenders quickly.
- Check your credit report for unfamiliar addresses that are not affiliated with you. Luckily with Transunion, they also provide phone numbers on the credit report.
- Request to freeze your credit profile with the credit bureaus
- Always maintain credit monitoring, you will get email alerts on all the activity that appears on your credit report.
Social Security and IRS Fraud
Our last tip, do not provide information for incoming calls that say they are the Social Security Administration or IRS, they never call, it is a scam.
“Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA impostor scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million. Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it.” -FTC.Gov
” The Internal Revenue Service today warned the public about a new twist on the IRS impersonation phone scam whereby criminals fake calls from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS. Similar to other IRS impersonation scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. In this most recent scam variation, callers “spoof” the telephone number of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service office in Houston or Brooklyn. Calls may be ‘robo-calls’ that request a call back.
If you cannot help yourself from the damage of identity theft on your credit or if new unauthorized credit applications continue while you are trying to prevent this theft from reoccurring, give this company a call to navigate your situation, correct and re-establish your credit now.
For more information on how we can help you locally with identity theft and personal credit in Palm Beach County and Collier County please fill out the online contact form about your concerns or give us a call at 855.477-9007. Read what our valued clients have to say about First Pro Capital and Credit Consulting Professionals on our Testimonials page