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July 20, 2006


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Both my wife and I had out IDs stolen this year (we bought a house in Feb, and figure somewhere along the line our data was stolen/sold). Let me give a plug to Citibank later on, the first card was opened in my name at Sears (whose credit is run by Citi) and the thieves spent $2400. Citi thought that this was unusual, so they red flagged it, and found out that the phone number the thieves put down didn’t match the one on my credit report. They called me to ask if I had opened an account in Phoenix that morning. Living in Oregon, I told them I hadn’t. They closed the account and advised me to call the credit agencies, which I did, and put the fraud alert on my account. Good thing too, I stopped these bastards from opening 3 more cards in my name. This was on a Saturday.

On Sunday, I thought it might be a good idea to put a fraud alert on my wife’s credit report, just in case. Turns out that was a smart thing to do, the thieves opened 2 accounts in my wife’s name (spending close to $5000), but we stopped them from opening 2 more accounts before they gave up using our information.

Now my accolades for Citi, They did a great job in contacting me, on a Saturday nonetheless. But that’s not all, I have had a CitiCard sine 1994, and they have an ID theft department open to any Citibank customer (I never noticed the commercials until after this event, you know the ones with a guy working out, but he’s got the voice of a valley girl). Let me tell you how great this service was. The lady who helped me got all my information about what had happened, called three-way to TransUnion and did all the talking while I listened to her clean up my credit report. While they only work with TU, it was helpful to listen in and learn the things I would say to the other 2 credit agencies. I just can’t say enough good things about Citibank.

All in all, it took a good 15-20 hours to clean up our ID theft, which wasn’t really that bad since we were able to stop the thieves the same day. I would have hated to have received the cards and statements later on and try to fix it from there. Final word: get a CitiCard - no annual fee, good rates, decent rewards programs, and Citi Identity Theft Solutions.

Identity theft is a crime and refers to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.

Your situation was pretty simple, but the FTC says it takes on average 600 hours to get your life back to normal once your ID has been stolen. Your situation is more credit card fraud than ID Theft. Look at this article:

Sean Matteson

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