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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    Apparently I moved to Detroit.

    ProtectMyId told me today that my address had changed. The web site said TransUnion had reported a new address, in Detroit.

    Naturally I clicked on "report fraud" immediately. This directed me to a web page which told me to call a phone #. I called that phone #, and it was a voice mail system whose only options were instructions on how to sign up for ProtectMyId. Great fraud report phone line, guys.

    I tried contacting TransUnion. That sent me to a voice mail telling me their office hours were Monday-Friday.

    I finally found a "dispute TransUnion credit report" web site. It had full details of my history and credit cards, and sure enough, my new address as of Feb 9th was in Detroit.

    There was no option to report an address fraud. I could request an investigation of any of my credit cards, but I could only "update" my address. I updated my address by pushing the Detroit address to #2, where I could mark it for deletion. I have no idea if they recognize the "hey, I'm deleting this address" as a fraud report, but it's the only option available to me until Monday.

    I'm guessing that someone, somewhere had my name and social security number. Probably not my legal name, since TransUnion has my normal use-name (Gus) rather than my actual, legal name that the IRS and a few other places care about. Presumably from the Experian break in from October 2015 where they stole information about T-mobile customers.

    I'm a bit taken aback by how easily someone could send false information to a credit reporting bureau, and that they don't bother to verify it in any way. I'm assuming the next step would be asking for a loan or a credit card, though I don't see any new activity on that front.

  2. #2
    Moderator Squiz's Avatar
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    Didn't you also have some issues with you Netflix account recently? This sounds pretty serious to me.
    Forum janitor in training.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    I did have issues with my Netflix account, but that seems like coincidence. This attempted change-of-address does seem awfully serious to me, but I don't see how the getting into my Netflix account would let anyone do anything to my credit report. While I don't know how you convince TransUnion that you're changing the address for someone else, I assume it involves knowing the victim's social security number. That's not something Netflix knows.

    Besides, the Netflix issue went away once I deleted the account and started over, this time without the phone #. Since it was every few hours up until that point, that clearly resolved it. I am now 100% convinced it was a Netlix-specific security hole, either related to hacked clients or the way Netflix lets you change your password via an automated phone system.

    It's possible it's related to antique password practice. When I found the TransUnion web site to report the fraud, it turned out I had an existing account with TransUnion. The credentials for that account were very, very old. The email on file was my Earthlink email from over 10 years ago. Back then I was using a single password for everything, rather than a password manager and random strings. That password is long since compromised.

    Come to think of it, that's probably it. The same procedure I used to report the fraud can also be used to change the address in the first place.

    If that's the case - using a password I used elsewhere, on a site I didn't think was critical - it's an instructive object lesson, to anyone who is still doing what I used to do.
    Last edited by Gus_Smedstad; 11-02-2017 at 11:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    An update: I found the advice on this site helpful. If you think anyone might pull an address change on you, it's worth reading.

    As suggested, I placed security freezes on my credit reports, and a fraud alert with TransUnion. Which also alerts Experian and Equifax. Given that I have no interest in applying for additional credit any time soon, I'm happy enough to leave the security freeze in place indefinitely.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Bobtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gus_Smedstad View Post
    I'm a bit taken aback by how easily someone could send false information to a credit reporting bureau, and that they don't bother to verify it in any way.
    Apparently credit report errors are common. Credit data expires too.

    Then there's stuff like this:

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Tevildo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if during the crisis in the late seventies, in businesss jargon, being "moved to detroit" meant you were having bad credit ratings or banking suspensions...

    Last edited by Tevildo; 13-02-2017 at 10:26 AM.

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