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July 19, 2007


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I randomly decided to check my credit report to see what it looked like. I had bookmarked a site mentioned on Clark Howard's radio show that was actually free, unlike The site is, it allows you to check your credit report one time a year free of charge. Well, it is a good, no, GREAT thing I did. Not only were there 2 cards listed that I was unaware of, but one had a past due balance!

Upon further investigation with the card holding bank, they told me the address(a past residence in college...) and places it was used. It turns out that the card was opened back when I was in college, but never used. Four years later, they purchased another bank's credit accounts and decided to send new cards out to all the old customers; with no verification required!
The thieves went on a twp day spending spree; $120 at a deli/pub(party?) and $85 at a gas station(keg?).
The bank employee assisting me even said this was typical behavior for this type of fraud. "Pump and Dump" she called it.
Lucky for me, this event only happened 3 months ago, so the payment was technically only one month past due. Lucky only because I had not been sent to collections.

The bank was extremely helpful and guided me through the process. They even followed up with a phone call after the issue was resolved on my credit and walked me through setting up a fraud alert for my info and that address.
The charges were cleared and the account closed.

I suggest you check your credit report once a year. If you want to check your credit score, it seems the only legit place to do that is only works with US based ISP's. They block it for others. I work overseas.

I check one of the 3 companies every 4 months. That way I minimize my exposure to situations such as Austin experienced.

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