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Accidentally gave a stranger my social security number, my license number, my bank account number, and various other personal details. What should I do?

bigbadmistake 4 10 June 18, 2014 at 07:04 PM in Other
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I done messed up. I faxed an apartment rental application to a random stranger instead of the landlord. The application includes everything about me:
  • Social security number
  • License number
  • Bank account number and balance
  • My full name, birth-date, address, phone numbers, and e-mail address
  • My parents' full names, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Other assorted application-type information
The fax number belongs to a user of k7.net, a website that gives you a free phone number to receive voicemails and faxes. I have no way of finding out who this person is. I left a voicemail asking for a call back, but there's been none so far.

I contacted k7 customer service. The rep kindly deleted the fax off the server, but it was also e-mailed to the user as an attachment, and there's no way of getting that back. The rep is also not allowed to reveal any personal details from the recipient's account.


I have no reason to believe that the mystery recipient will try and cause mischief. He is probably a member of that majority of people who would never impersonate or steal from someone else. However, just in case he turns out to be a member of the dodgy minority: what should I be doing to protect myself?

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Joined Aug 2006
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#2
Naturally get your bank account number changed. Also put a fraud alert out with all 3 credit agencies to limit the chance of a stolen identity. To be fair, it's quite possible that the fax recipient no longer even monitors that number tho.
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#3
Quote from nope89 View Post :
Also put a fraud alert out with all 3 credit agencies to limit the chance of a stolen identity.
seems like the kind of bad advice that could easily cost him thousands of dollars in credit-card bonuses
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#4
Quote from mrbigstuff View Post :
seems like the kind of bad advice that could easily cost him thousands of dollars in credit-card bonuses

And not doing so could cost him years of trying to fix his messed up credit when someone ruins it.
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#5
You can sign up for free credit monitoring through Michael's - they're offering it to all customers in the wake of a security breach, but there's no burden of proof for signing up.
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Last edited by serra June 23, 2014 at 05:45 PM
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#6
I am a bit shocked that for a lease you have to give up all that information. You can just about do anything with that much.
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Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
#7
Quote from mrbigstuff View Post :
seems like the kind of bad advice that could easily cost him thousands of dollars in credit-card bonuses
What? A fraud alert is exactly what he should do and it won't cost him anything. Alternatively, could put a credit freeze on each bureau. You can still apply for credit yourself. If it's a fraud alert then usually the bank will call you to verify the application. If it's a freeze, you just unfreeze it for a few days and apply.

OP should do one of the above. Monitoring is all well and good, but then you have to deal with fraudulent applications if they come in - and that can be a big run around with police reports/affidavits/contacting each bureau. Much easier just to block everything and not have to worry about it.
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#8
Thanks for the advice, guys. I have some legitimate, significant financial activity on the horizon: in the coming weeks, I will be receiving a student loan, laying out a lot of money for an apartment (and other expenses related to moving to a new college town), and I also intended to apply for a new credit card soon. Putting a freeze on my credit and/or bank accounts would prevent me from doing any of this, right? This is something I don't have any experience with.

The fraud alert you describe sounds good, though.
Quote from mrbigstuff View Post :
seems like the kind of bad advice that could easily cost him thousands of dollars in credit-card bonuses
Quote from genghiskhan View Post :
And not doing so could cost him years of trying to fix his messed up credit when someone ruins it.
How might putting out a fraud alert with the credit agencies cost me thousands in credit-card bonuses?

Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
What? A fraud alert is exactly what he should do and it won't cost him anything. Alternatively, could put a credit freeze on each bureau. You can still apply for credit yourself. If it's a fraud alert then usually the bank will call you to verify the application. If it's a freeze, you just unfreeze it for a few days and apply.

OP should do one of the above. Monitoring is all well and good, but then you have to deal with fraudulent applications if they come in - and that can be a big run around with police reports/affidavits/contacting each bureau. Much easier just to block everything and not have to worry about it.
So the only way a fraud alert will impede my student loan or credit card application will be a short delay while they call me? That seems pretty manageable.


Things I've already done so far: I connected credit karma directly to my bank and credit accounts, and configured it to send me an alert if anything happens with either those or my credit report. I'm not sure if this is comparable to a real credit monitoring service, though. I'm also moving all of the money from the application bank account into a different one.
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#9
you should change your bank account number anyways, this should be relatively painless - just make sure you don't have any auto-reoccurring payments that need to be changed

and do make sure to pull your free credit reports and go over them closely
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#10
Quote from bigbadmistake View Post :

How might putting out a fraud alert with the credit agencies cost me thousands in credit-card bonuses?



So the only way a fraud alert will impede my student loan or credit card application will be a short delay while they call me? That seems pretty manageable.
https://help.equifax.com/app/answ...aud-alerts

Quote :
Activating a fraud alert would indicate to potential lenders that they should exercise further caution in reviewing and evaluating your application. Therefore, at any time you attempt to open a new account while a fraud alert is in place you may need to be available at the phone number or other contact method you provided in order to approve the opening of a new credit account. If you are not available, the creditor may not open the account.
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#11
No problem! Everyone makes mistakes like this! Sending out personal information to a total stranger like this happens all the time! Tell you what, Just pm me a copy of the fax, along with your paypal login and password, email login and password, plus your mothers maiden name, and I'll monitor your credit accounts for you. That way you can rest assured that is anything suspicious happens, I'll know all about it.
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Ferretgi Rules of Acquisition:
Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to
If it's free, take it and worry about hidden costs later
Only fools pay retail
More is good... all is better
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on

Quote from soyanks View Post :
Let him be. He's a ferret
#12
Call the credit card company immediately and have them issue you a new card-with a new number , obviously. If you have points etc ask if they can be transferred. They should say yes. A replacement comes in the mail quickly.
Close out the checking and get a new account number, if you have outstanding checks tell them which ones and the bank will let them clear, Plus all the above, what the others said. May be a hassle now but could be worse later on. However let's think the best of people and hope they simply shred the info. Good luck.
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#13
Freeze your credit immediately, as in before you finish reading this sentence. Freezing your credit will shut the would-be criminals down cold.
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Last edited by Brian1 June 19, 2014 at 09:58 PM
#14
Quote from bigbadmistake View Post :
How might putting out a fraud alert with the credit agencies cost me thousands in credit-card bonuses?
It doesn't. As posted above with a fraud alert what happens is when the bank/lender checks your credit they receive the fraud alert message. That message will say "Fraud alert - Call bigbadmistake at 555-555-5555" So if you apply online, you won't get instant approval but you call the consideration line and they will call you back and push it through. I've had a fraud alert on my credit for the past 6 years and applied for many cards and got all the bonuses.

With a credit freeze, you need to ask the bank which bureau they use, then unfreeze that bureau for X number of days, then the freeze is re-applied. This way is a bit more seamless from the lender's perspective since they process as normal, however it requires upfront effort by you to freeze/unfreeze the credit.

Either way will ensure you're protected against any fraudulent use before it actually hits your credit.
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#15
Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
Either way will ensure you're protected against any fraudulent use before it actually hits your credit.
Your advice on credit freezes is great. However, only a credit freeze will guarantee someone is protected. A fraud alert does not guarantee this because some credit issuers do not heed the fraud alert's instruction to call, but rather go ahead and grant credit without verifying identity.
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