Monday, January 19, 2015

So There I Was Checking My Free Credit Report Today,... I do every year, through when I noticed that that my credit history report from TransUnion had something in it that seemed a bit off. According to that report, I had run a credit history on myself last week. In reality, I had done no such thing.

So, I tried to log onto TransUnion to see what that was all about. I do not have a paid account with TransUnion but have a login after using them in the past and signing up for free to be able to view my free online credit report over the course of a 30 day period instead of just once on the day I ordered it through that free credit report deal. I don't even know if they do that any longer, that is if they allow access after the day you first view the report since I just print them as an XPS document nowadays and don't bother to look again online. Anyway, after I input my TransUnion login ID and password, I was asked to answer a secret question. I answered it five times, it rejected me five times even though there was only one possible answer for that question as far as I am concerned. So, I called them.

I explained my concerns and they asked for more info to verify my identity. They asked for my email address and I gave them both of mine and they said give us the one ending in .org. I have never had an email address ending in .org and told them that  they did not seem happy. They then asked more questions and finally when satisfied of my identity they checked my account. I was told that relative to last week, their records show that: the questionable credit history check was shown as having been done by me, that I supposedly had signed up for a TransUnion paid identity protection account, that they had charged my credit card ending in a certain four numbers for $19.50 for that new identity protection account and that everything else in that new account matched my actual information as far as they could tell. I was then told my identity had been stolen.

"Oh shit, what now" is what went through my mind and pretty much what I asked the TransUnion representative. He put me through to their fraud department and they put a fraud alert and a freeze on my TransUnion credit history. He also told me to contact Equifax and Experian and do likewise with them. Done. I also have changed several passwords for things like email, banking, and all that crap. Either later this evening or tomorrow in the morning, I will be contacting the local police department to file an identity theft report to cover mine arse.

I also wound up running the other two free credit reports from Equifax an Experian but only after I had confirmed that there was a problem through TransUnion. Usually, I run one report from each per year but not on the same day. I do one in January, another about 3-4 months later and the last some months after that. It was what I had set out to do today and luckily, I ran the TransUnion credit history report. I say luckily because neither of the other two showed the supposed self run credit check that was shown in the TransUnion credit history report for me. As it turns out, for right now, it looks like I nipped it in the bud. My current credit histories do not show any new mortgages in my name for 50 room mansions in the Ukraine, show no 20K charges at stripper joints in Manhattan, do not show any new Ferraris purchased under my name as far as I can tell. Of course, no new debt activity may show for a month or more after it was completed but I am hopeful that if it does show in the coming months that this time the two credit protection plans I have will catch it. Since they did not catch anything this time aroundthat has me feeling very doubtful about renewing my ProtectMyID account (that I got for free from Target stores last year due to a security breach but that expires soon) and has me wondering if the AllClearID account I got for free through Home Depot, that past fall and also due to a security breach, is worth its weight in air?

I was lucky today to run the credit report and realize something did not seem just right and must admit that I only thought of doing so after receiving a notice from the ProtectMyID account that another credit check on me had been run yesterday. That one was legitimate and expected. That email though got me to thinking it had been awhile before I ran my credit history so I went online to to run a free one. I am happy I did so. I also happily recommend it to anyone who has any sort of credit.

All the best,
Glenn B