That's right - this week I went online and got my free credit report and found an unscrupulous person had my social security number. Over the last 5-6 weeks they had opened 5 different credit card accounts, all with very high credit limits. The cards had not been used to a great degree - YET!
Today, a fraud prevention specialist at one of the banks told me this scenario is common - the thieves get as many accounts open as they can and slowly begin to activate them - once they are assured the cards are valid, they swoop in and start spending.
In my case, the cards were in my name (first name spelled differently)with different male first names (and my last name) as authorized users. The only thing they had was my name and social - EVERY other identifier, mother's maiden name, phone, address, email, was false. I am so fortunate, most of the time people do not know this is going on for months and months. As one bank employee said today, "by the time most people find out what is going on it is such a mess to clean up and your credit is in shambles."
Why did I get the credit report? It is so weird. I worked at home on Wednesday, late in the afternoon I flipped down the flat screen under the kitchen cabinet and turned it on. I was sitting at the center island engrossed in my work (not even aware of the TV) when all of a sudden my attention was drawn to a commercial. The commercial was get your free credit report.
For some reason, in the middle of working on a client project, I thought - "wow, it has been ages since I have done that." I stopped work, went online and downloaded my report. That's when I discovered the identity theft. Whew, angels on my shoulder I guess.
In any case, I have now put a lock on my credit report and have invested a ton of hours in talking on the phone. If you haven't looked at your credit report lately - please do so. I have no idea how anyone got my social - but it is serious and they are without a conscience.