This royally sucks, left for about a week to visit relations over the Thanksgiving week, came back and discovers my house got robbed. S..o..B..
Right now my head is spinning and I can't think quite straight. The cop had came and gone but I doubt there's much they can do.
Only major "items" taken were TV and a box of document that include bank and credit card statement. Missing as well is my SS card,
This likely happened last Thursday or Friday and by Friday they had already changed a login id and password for one of the credit card which I still have in my procession. CC can't tell me how they did that except saying that they didn't have my ID or password. Most of the charges are hotels, etc.. going down the west coast. So it's probably a band of thief ringing bells on Thanksgiving Day or the Black Friday and likely not local. Note again, they do not have my physical card so they likely have a way to dup a card just from card #.
I have placed 90 day fraud alert with Equifax and the recording say they will forward it to Transunion and Experian.
1. The total loss is small right now, a TV, some odd and ends, a broken door glass. Is it worthwhile to file for insurance? What consideration are there?
2. With my SS# and other bank documents that shows my brokage assets, what other steps should I look into. How to replace a SS Card and what complication are there to think about?
I'll update this thread so as to provide a lesson for the rest of you lucky folks. not alt for me!
Laying on the bed I realized they got a treasure trove of person info. This is probably how they were able to get a new ID/PW for one of the credit card and the guy on the phone said as much. I also realized they got my stash of gift cards (bad FW habit) so just the material loss is going to be $3k-$4k(?).
I have simplifi2 on order, just so happens it was $205 on Amazon last night. I also decided to talk to my insurance agent in person. The last time I thought about a claim she did not log it (same agency for 20+ years) and were straight with me as far as potential rate implication.
Oh, I found my SS# card but they have my #. Reading some of the online resource the consensus seems to be that getting a new # is almost always more trouble than stay with the same #. I'll keep researching and keep my mind open on that.
More to come later... particularly on the things I did wrong in 20/20 hindsight.
The big one: Kept way too many paper document at home. 90% of it wasn't needed. I could have save a lot of PDF in encrypted folders.
under-estimated my risk for burglary. Looking my city's crime map is a sobering wake up call.
Did not enable all text/email notification for CC charges, etc.. I would have found something going on sooner before returning to my house.
I scanned receipts for big stuff but FAILED to record serial #. This would really helped with pawn store check.
I got out the BT game a while back but kept doing gift-card. The return was meager but I did it out of habit. Bad move.
Sorry to hear this has happened. You are right to act very quickly.
1. If it were me, I'd lodge an alert at all the credit agencies myself -- don't wait to let one pass it on to the others, unless they do it instantaneously. I think there are now 4 credit agencies to deal with.
2. Call your financial institutions personally, as well.
3. I think the government has an online form to fill in for SSN identity theft. Actually, I think the government has a whole website about identity theft and what to do.
4. There have been past threads on Fatwallet about this issue, with many good suggestions and internet links. Look these up.
5. Security expert Brian Krebs has good advice about identity theft -- he's written about 4 different articles on it -- some or all of those articles usually are in the list of "most popular posts" on his site: see the righthand sidebar at www.krebsonsecurity.com
6. Did they get keys, garage door openers? You might want to change the locks.
7. Have you changed the passwords and security questions of your email accounts, online banking accounts, and online shopping accounts at major retailers? (If they were able to change the login ID and password of one of your credit cards, without even having the physical card, there is no telling what other accounts of yours they have compromised using similar information and similar tactics.)
8. Did they get your passport, any other ID, besides the Social Security card?
9. You might want to alert the IRS because they could try to do a tax return in your name.
1. your house was burglarized, not robbed. robbery requires either force or fear against a person. if I were to put a gun to your head and demand your $4M ring, my behavior would constitute a robbery. but, if I were to break into your vacant house and swipe your $4M ring, my behavior would constitute a burglary. criminal penalties: robbery >>> burglary
velopag said: 1. your house was burglarized, not robbed. robbery requires either force or fear against a person. if I were to put a gun to your head and demand your $4M ring, my behavior would constitute a robbery. but, if I were to break into your vacant house and swipe your $4M ring, my behavior would constitute a burglary. criminal penalties: robbery >>> burglary
2. buy a safe.
3. ask friends & family for receipts. 1. I'm sure you defining robbery for him is really helpful. 2. Zen, I'm sorry this happened to you 3. I'd personally sign up for one of those credit monitoring services. I have one as part of one of the 100 data breaches I was involved in last year, and they call me anytime my personal info is used to apply for a new account.
My condolences OP. My wife just had someone get ahold of her SSN and file an unemployment claim, we think it was an inside job as they had salary numbers that don't appear on 1040 or W2. Thankfully we froze her credit before they applied for a chase Amazon card in her name.
the fact that they physically broke into your house reminds me to tune up my Nest camera system. It gives me so many false positives I ignore the alerts on my phone.
Really sorry this happened to you. It really hits what sense of safety you feel in your own home and takes a while to get over. I wouldn't file an insurance claim for this - in my opinion, HO claims should only be filed for catastrophic loss. Agree with others about doing a credit freeze and paying for a credit monitoring service for at least a year. If you haven't already, get onto the SS site and order a replacement card. Have you checked with neighbors to see if anyone caught anything on their security camera(s)?
If total loss is small, depending on deductible, you may really not get much but it'll ding your CLUE report. Insurer may raise rates based on that and the fact they've had to pay a claim already. Just do the math but if it's close, you're right to think about not claiming it.
If you notice ID theft, you can report it to the FTC. Also you have a lot of info on the government website for Id theft (https://www.identitytheft.gov/). Especially look at their recovery steps page that lists a ton of cases, who to contact for each one, etc.
For credit card accounts, just contact each directly and make them aware of the situation including the credit bureau alerts, the SSN ID and account number theft, etc and let them resolve it. Upgrade security measures on all accounts to two-factor if possible (meaning you get a SMS code to login in addition to login/password). Update security question answers, etc. For the CC companies, it's their money on the line for a lot of potential fraudulent transactions so expect them to be very responsive about it lol. In any case, get new card numbers issued would be the minimum first step and have them send the replacement cards quickly.
Same thing really for investment accounts. Just upgrade security so that you get email alert for any activity. But making them aware of the situation is the first step.
Oh and be sure to have a copy of the police report if you don't have one yet. You may need to show it for supporting the ID theft.
Some insurance companies, Erie for one, offer ID theft protection. So, while I would not file a claim on the TV and other small items, you may be able to do so if you have ID theft protection and combine the two claims into one.
Keep in mind that all claims are recorded in a thing called the CLUE database and many companies will file an inquiry for the simple reason that most of us never contact our insurance companies until there is a loss. The companies assume there's been a loss whenever you inquire regardless of what actually happened.
One way around this is to use a competent, knowledgeable, experienced insurance broker since s/he can answer most of your questions "off the record" and best advise you whether to file claims or not.
My parents had their home broken into. They called the insurance company and determined they would only net $1500 or so and decided not to file a claim. Insurance company still jacked up their rates next renewal even though they never submitted a claim.
And don't think police would do anything. The best they do it get a cat out of the tree or show up for domestic violence. My friend had same thing that happened to you. The thieves lived in the house for few days, took the car out of the garage, got a traffic violation with their picture taken. Cops still did not do anything. Their excuse was, "We can't arrest someone for running a red light."
The IRS tip is a good one. You'll have to get a pin number from them and will need that pin to file taxes moving forward. These scumbags file fake returns claiming huge overpayments and then get a nice size refund sent to them in your name. Block that avenue for them ASAP since tax season is coming up.
Change all logins. Alert the banks and even the ones they didn't get info on. Sorry this happened to you Zen.
I know how much fraudulent CC charges suck to see but those are easily refunded.
Make sure they didn't get anything else. Jewelry...anything of value that you might be overlooking? Taking the TV seems stupid unless it was super high end. The documents were their real score. Consider an offsite storage for them in the future.
king0fSpades said: And don't think police would do anything. The best they do it get a cat out of the tree or show up for domestic violence. My friend had same thing that happened to you. The thieves lived in the house for few days, took the car out of the garage, got a traffic violation with their picture taken. Cops still did not do anything. Their excuse was, "We can't arrest someone for running a red light." Getting a cat out of the tree and domestic violence do not belong in the same sentence.
turtlebug said: Really sorry this happened to you. It really hits what sense of safety you feel in your own home and takes a while to get over. I wouldn't file an insurance claim for this - in my opinion, HO claims should only be filed for catastrophic loss. Agree with others about doing a credit freeze and paying for a credit monitoring service for at least a year. If you haven't already, get onto the SS site and order a replacement card. Have you checked with neighbors to see if anyone caught anything on their security camera(s)?
Couldn't agree more. I went through hell after filing a claim on my homewoners (they dropped me and I almost wasn't able to find a company willing to cover me - water damage). I will never use homeowners again unless I absolutely have to. Most people don't realize that in addition to your personal CLUE report, the agency also keeps a report on your property (which could obviously severely affect your ability to resell the house if a prospective buyer can't get the property insured at a reasonable rate).
1. if police report from burglary does not mention the theft of identity documents, call back and get another police report for the identity theft. Even thought the credit card use happened in another jurisdiction, your local police must take the report. You might need this police report to get services like IRS or credit freeze and will be very critical in case things really go south with this.
2. If not already done so, sign up for creditkarma so you can monitor your credit and get alerts.
3. Do a credit freeze with all 3 credit bureaus. Should be free with police report of identity theft. This is much better than credit alert or credit monitoring.
4. change passwords to all financial accounts and email accounts.
5. report as stolen all credit cards that may have been taken and get new ones issued.
6. If they stole any paper checks (remember those), then that is the worst. You could be arrested for them writing hot checks. You need to call the bank and work with them on this. Probably will need to close checking account.
7. FYI, most insurance policies now have rider for identity fraud loss, usually 50K, but you have to actual losses.
Ahhh, already ran into a big gotcha. Placed freeze at Equifax for $10 and the last page it shows a PDF with PIN to unlock in the future. Except the PDF doesn't display right (MS Edge) so it doesn't look like I'll ever be able to unlock it. Can't find a non-automated # for Equifax anywhere. Help?
found a # at gethuman, 1-888-298-0045, on hold now.
ZenNUTS said: Ahhh, already ran into a big gotcha. Placed freeze at Equifax for $10 and the last page it shows a PDF with PIN to unlock in the future. strange, i didn't have to pay $10 for freeze. Didn't see anything about PIN either.
ZenNUTS said: Ahhh, already ran into a big gotcha. Placed freeze at Equifax for $10 and the last page it shows a PDF with PIN to unlock in the future. Except the PDF doesn't display right (MS Edge) so it doesn't look like I'll ever be able to unlock it. Can't find a non-automated # for Equifax anywhere. Help? Can you save the PDF and open in another application?
ZenNUTS said: With my SS# and other bank documents that shows my brokage assets
That could be particularly dangerous if the numbers are large enough to mark you as a highly profitable Target for future activities. A firearm or dog might be worth considering if you don't already have either.
The thieves didn't just swipe electronics, jewelry, and cash for a quick score, but actually took the time to go through your documents. It seems they aren't typical street thugs looking to fund their next high. I'm sensing that you had caught their eye some time ago and they waited for the right opportunity.
They also got my SS card, active credit cards, some cash, some gift cards, an iPad and a camera and a few smaller electronics, lots of heirloom jewelry. He was in the house for no more than 20 minutes as we were only gone for about 30 minutes total.
We didn't file a freeze but of course canceled all the credit cards. We've been checking our credit report repeatedly since then and no fraud. We did not get new SS cards.
This may be because we got lucky as hell and the police caught the guy 2 weeks later. We got back the camera and all the jewelry. He's now in prison for 3 years. And he owes us restitution of about $4000.
Sorry that happened to you. I had a similar incident a few years back while in college and I've never felt more violated before.
My safe was stolen which had my social security card, passport, an old drivers license, and bank account numbers. Everything they could possibly need to steal my identity. Thankfully to this day nothing has happened (at least that I'm aware of), here is what I did:
1) Placed a temporary freeze with all the credit agencies as has already been suggested here. 2) Attempted to change my SSN. Failed. Was pretty much told the only way to get it changed was to prove that my SSN is being used in ID theft. 3) Signed up for credit monitoring with wellsfargo for $13 a month which was a ripoff. Many credit card companies will offer something similar for free now. Heck, even credit karma will let you know when there has been an inquiry (although often it will about 30 days after the inquiry to be notified of it.)
Seems like you've done all the right things. Have you tried talking to your neighbors yet to see if they saw or heard anything?
Well, some interesting tidbit for entertainment purpose.
One neighbor saw this van late one-night and she peek out the window and stayed awake for a while to see what they are up to. Probably spooked them so they took off without getting everything cleaned out. Now this sounds more pro than some kids. My next door neighbor is a gun nuts and got signs all over with "we'll shot you, blah blah" and I noticed now most of my neighbor got alarm systems.
Does anyone use a decoy safe? I wonder how well that would work, robbers thinking they can just take that and open it later. Excellent idea. I l like it. Buy a safe and put some bricks in it. Hide your valuables somewhere else.
Sorry to hear about the loss. No matter where you live, burglaries can happen anywhere. I personally have high-end locks and other security measures: 1) Deterrent to prevent smash and grab folks and 2) Monitoring so if folks do end up trespassing on my property, they can be found easily. At the end of the day if people want to get into your house, they will; you were just unfortunately an easy Target.
ZenNUTS said: Well, some interesting tidbit for entertainment purpose.
One neighbor saw this van late one-night and she peek out the window and stayed awake for a while to see what they are up to. Probably spooked them so they took off without getting everything cleaned out. Now this sounds more pro than some kids. My next door neighbor is a guy nuts and got signs all over with "we'll shot you, blah blah" and I noticed now most of my neighbor got alarm systems. Sorry to hear about your circumstances. Being violated in your own home really sucks.
Couple things: - Your house may have been targeted for being less secure than the neighbors. - A $300 camera system is well worth the money. - If you bought the gift cards online see if you can get them reissued. Often you can.
See if you can put identity locks/PINs on all of your accounts. This way unless the perp guesses your PIN it won't be able to do any further damage.
ZenNUTS said: One neighbor saw this van late one-night and she peek out the window and stayed awake for a while to see what they are up to. I put the highest wattage CFL/LED bulbs that will fit in my outside light fixtures and leave them on 24/7. All four entrances (garage, 2 regular doors and one sliding door) are brightly lit with no where to hide. I also have BRINK/ADT signs the previous owner left in my yard even though I don't subscribe to them.
I still have to turn on the existing ADT system so that the alarm will go off if the window and door sensors are triggered
My wife says our best security measure is me keeping the house extremely messy so any burglar will think the house has already been hit .
ZenNUTS said: Well, some interesting tidbit for entertainment purpose.
One neighbor saw this van late one-night and she peek out the window and stayed awake for a while to see what they are up to. Probably spooked them so they took off without getting everything cleaned out. Now this sounds more pro than some kids. My next door neighbor is a guy nuts and got signs all over with "we'll shot you, blah blah" and I noticed now most of my neighbor got alarm systems.
But the idiot couldn't pick up the phone and dial 911.
Where I live, people get on Facebook and say "there was a guy going around selling ____. I told him he wasn't allowed to solicit in our neighborhood." or "I saw a strange vehicle."
My response, and the response of the Sheriff's office - "PICK UP THE PHONE AND DIAL 911 ANYTIME YOU SEE A STRANGE VEHICLE OR PERSON. LET US (Sheriff's office) determine if there is an issue."
A lot of hindsight-is-20/20 here but it's valuable for those that are thinking of protecting their homes. You can get a smartthings hub ($50) and a couple zwave switches ($30x2) and a zwave motion detector ($22) and create the illusion that someone is home by turning inside lights on/off at strategic places in the home when motion is detected. I'm in the process of getting this setup in my home now. I also have an extensive security system that is UL monitored ($10/mo). And an IPcam in a relatively conspicuous place in front and back with periodic snapshots.
This post will probably force me to add in additional security measures. As I'm sure OP would agree, the monetary value of items taken pales in comparison to the feeling of violation. And this is just stuff - with daughters at home a home invasion is one of my worst nightmares. I've been weighing my options re: secured firearms in the master bedroom. Haven't gotten there yet but I imagine I will eventually get there.
eta: anybody have the 'Ring' video doorbell? Seems like many scams include the "ring to see if someone's home" trick.
GoodSamaritanWorld said: IRS form needs to be filed only if you are a victim of tax related fraud. Am i missing anything? If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, keep in touch with the company to learn what it is doing to protect you and follow the “Steps for victims of identity theft.” Data breach victims should submit a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, only if your Social Security number has been compromised and your efile return was rejected as a duplicate or IRS has informed you that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft. I called IRS ID hotline and the lady confirms that I should file it and also request a ID PIN due to the theft's aggressive nature of getting credit a day after the burglary.
On a somewhat related news, they bust a ring in a nearby city that targets very pricy homes. Note this The group was named for their use of rocks to smash and disable alarm systems and gain access to the houses through glass windows. so it goes to my point that no alarm system is 100%.
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