This is where the credit card offers end up, in the garbage. I get it, there's so many.
But if you don't open the envelopes, you might be missing the first sign that someone is using your name to buy stuff.
"I initially was in shock. I didn't think that that could happen to me especially at such a young age as a college student I don't have much credit built up." This college student didn't want to show her face, but she knows her story needs to get out.
"And my mother called me and asked me if I had applied for a green dot card because we had received one in the mail but I told her that I never applied to any credit card."
The parents knew someone had their daughter's personal information and was trying to get credit cards in her name.
"She explained to me that this could have very long-term effects and it's very hard to fix and prove that you are in fact who you are. I was more angry than anything."
The student filed a police report, called the three credit agencies and started taking pro-active steps.
"Call the IRS, tell them that your identity has been stolen and they put a red flag on my name so if anything was to pop up I would be notified and so would they."
Postal Inspectors say knowing how valuable your information is, is key.
(Ivan Ramirez, US Postal Inspector)
"Your social security number is your DNA for the rest of your life. You have to guard it, you have to protect it, you have to monitor it, " says Ivan Ramirez."
There's 2 major takeaways here:
First, if you have kids, freeze their credit so no one can access it.
2 Wants to Know takes you step by step through the process.. It will cost you a total of $15 to protect your child's financial identity.
And here's the second takeaway, and its for everyone who buys stuff online or pays bills on line. To protect your financial identity, stop using the "remember my password" feature.
And use the same credit card, not a debit card, so it will be easy to keep track if any or the charges are fake.