Identity stolen; Not once, but twice - CBS46 News

Identity stolen; Not once, but twice

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ATLANTA (CONSUMER ALERTS) -

Identity theft is bad enough if it happens once, but twice?

"It's an ongoing thing, they steal your identity; it destroys your life," said fraud victim, Maria Chen.

 

The suspect literally took everything she had.

"He had withdrawn all of my money out of the bank and opened up credit cards in my name," Chen said.

Chen's bank alerted her and she immediately went to police, who were able to track down the suspect and arrest him. She also put alerts on her accounts. Yet somehow, when the suspect got out of jail, he was able to use her personal information again.

"The bad guys are calling in with all the personal identifying information of the victims," said US Postal Inspector Carla Menendez.

Once they do that, they essentially can get access to your credit card account, add themselves as a user and get their own card with their name on it and start charging on your account. The vicious cycle starts all over again.

"I've been trying to get my life back again so I can continue on, but it's been very hard," Chen said.

Place a security freeze and a seven-year fraud alert on your account as soon as you know your identity has been stolen. Then sign up for credit card monitoring services that will text you when anyone has viewed your credit.

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