The woman called police on Dec. 11 after learning the thief or thieves had used her name, date of birth, Social Security number and her most recent address to open accounts at Best Buy, HH Gregg and Kohl's. All three accounts were opened on Dec. 7.
According to the woman, $3,985 in merchandise was purchased at Best Buy, $5,074 from HH Gregg and $80 at Kohl's.
The case is listed as active.
The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers to safeguard all personal information, whether on paper, online or stored in your computer or mobile device. Even though you may think your data is secure, the FTC cautions "identity thieves are resourceful: they rummage through your garbage, the trash of businesses, or public dumps. They may work — or pretend to work — for legitimate companies, medical offices, clinics, pharmacies, or government agencies, or convince you to reveal personal information. Some thieves pretend to represent an institution you trust, and try to trick you into revealing personal information by email or phone."
The FTC lists the following clues which may mean someone has stolen your information:
- You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
- You don’t get your bills or other mail.
- Merchants refuse your checks.
- Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
- You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
- Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
- Your health plan rejects your legitimate medical claim because the records show you’ve reached your benefits limit.
- A health plan won’t cover you because your medical records show a condition you don’t have.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
- You get notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.
If your personal information is compromised, the FTC advises contacting the credit reporting companies and placing a fraud alert on your credit file.
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