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Identity Stolen

My wife and I along with our three little ones where on they way to meet friends for dinner when my wife’s phone rang. It was our real estate agent telling us that a package had been delivered to the house we were selling. The buyer’s agent was there at the time and had picked up the package for us. She let us know we could pick up the package at her office. It seemed very strange. We had moved out of the house a few weeks earlier, requested USPS to forward any mail to our new address, and we had not ordering anything recently.

We drove over to picked up the package and I was surprised to open it and find three brand new iPhone 6s Pluses from Sprint. Not humdrum plain iPhones no, these were the blingy gold, rose-gold, and silver models. Now I’m not much for bling and I’m definitely not a Sprint customer so it was then that I realized someone had opened up an account in my name to order these phones. My identity had been stolen.

Next I called Sprint. After explaining the situation they directed me to take the phones to their nearest retail store and return them.

So much for getting to dinner on time.

I spend the next hour getting the store to process and return the phones. This involved a frustrating amount of explanation as they had never dealt with this kind of situation before. After a conversation with Sprint’s fraud department I was finally able to get the account shutdown and get a receipt for the returned phones.

All you need to open an account online with Sprint is a person’s name, address, social security number. The method of payment the identity thief used in this case was a purchase order for a business I wasn’t able to get the name of.

Sprint’s fraud department gave me the number to put a fraud alert on my record with all major credit bureaus. Once the alert had been placed, I also went ahead and froze my credit. In situations when you think you’re identity has been stolen, do not bother with credit monitoring services. To actually prevent further damage you need to freeze your credit. You can do so online here:

I rarely open up new accounts or need to have my credit queried. From here on out I plan to keep my credit frozen and only thaw it when needed.



Featured image attribution: via Flickr with text added (CC BY 2.0)