A AAA Northeast member in Rhode Island recently received some unwelcome news.
Someone was using her name to file online loan applications with several banks in the Midwest.
After asking herself how such a thing could happen, she faced the question identity theft victims know all too well: What do I do now?
Experian was there with the answer.
As a AAA member, she had the advantage of a free identity theft protection plan from Experian, simply by signing up.
Experian alerted her to the phony applications by email, and, within an hour, a fraud resolution specialist was on the phone talking her through the next steps, like contacting the police and credit bureaus.
“I was a nervous wreck,” she said. “But Experian put me at ease. All AAA members need to know about this service.”
It’s called ProtectMyID Essential. Members who sign up get identity protection services from Experian, including daily credit report monitoring, suspicious activity alerts, resolution support and more.
Programs like ProtectMyID and preventive measures like shredding old bills are good practices to keep personal information secure, said one financial crimes investigator.
“I recommend having all the protection you can,” said Detective Paul Bessette, of the Cranston, R.I., Police Department. He didn’t handle this member’s case, but he’s dealt with many like it. And they’re becoming more frequent.
The number of identity fraud victims reached an all-time high in 2017, according to the 2018 Identity Fraud study by Javelin Strategy and Research. Thieves stole $16.8 billion from 16.7 million victims.
Bessette said that paying bills online has dramatically increased opportunities for hackers to swipe debit or credit card numbers. Also, while large-scale data breaches have compromised millions of Social Security numbers and other personal information, credit card skimmers at ATMs and stolen purses and wallets remain real threats. Click here for more on other scams.
Has Experian helped you following identity theft? Leave a comment to let us know about your experience.
Learn more about how ProtectMyID can help keep your identity safe.