Fraudulent Credit Card Application
It’s one of the calls that no one ever wants to receive. The call that sends your mind into a panic and makes your stomach sink into the floor. Yesterday I got that call. Someone placed a fraudulent credit card application in my name. Let’s take a look at what happened and then I’ll explain ways you can protect yourself if you are in the same position.
The Fraudulent Credit Card Application Phone Call
Yesterday afternoon I missed a call from 855-522-7663 which so happens to be Capital One. The voicemail went something like this, “This is an important message for Mr. Shawn Coomer from the Capital One Fraud Department. We are calling in reference to a recent application….”
I didn’t notice the voicemail until the evening and once I discovered it I searched the phone number on Google to verify it was legit. While I eventually discovered it is, I noticed a lot of people had reported 855-522-7663 as a scam number. Just to be sure I did a little more researching before calling in. Thankfully that is genuinely the Capital One Fraud Department.
Credit Monitoring Helped Me Confirm the Fraudulent Application
I have free credit monitoring through Capital One, Discover and various other places (see links below) and thus had received an alert when this application was placed. I want to step back and say I did place a legitimate application with another bank on the day before this happened, so the alerts initially weren’t concerning.
To verify the Capital One application was legit, I logged into my credit monitoring and did find the inquiry from Capital One on my credit. Ouch! Someone had definitely placed a fraudulent credit card application in my name and thankfully Capital One caught it!
Calling Capital One About the Fraudulent Credit Card Application
By the time I heard the voicemail and did a little research to make sure the call was legit, the Capital One fraud offices were closed so I called the next morning. Upon calling I was immediately connected to a representative who asked me very limited information. All I needed to provide was my name and application number and eventually the last four of my social security number.
The representative was friendly and explained that he had cancelled the application. He also went on to describe ways I could protect myself from identity theft and how I could place a fraud alert on my credit report. I’ll share that information below.
Which Credit Card Did the Scammer Apply For?
While I wasn’t able to get a ton of information about the scammer who placed the fraudulent credit card application, I did get a few tidbits of information. Said lowlife applied for a Capital One Quicksilver One card. He/she also asked for it to be shipped to Greenville, MS which is a small town on the Mississippi/Arkansas border.
How to Protect From Identity Theft with Fraud Alerts
At this point the scammer hasn’t applied for any other credit in my name as far as I can tell. I do have alerts setup with multiple redundancies so I expect to be notified of any application in almost real time. With that said, there are a couple of things that can be done to provide further protection.
Freezing Your Credit
If you aren’t applying for a lot of credit you can now freeze your report with each of the bureaus without a fee in most cases. Freezing your credit report prevents anyone from accessing your credit file which helps to keep you safe. Of course you’ll have to unfreeze it to apply for any credit so keep that in mind.
1 year Fraud Alert on Credit Report (Initial Fraud Alert)
Another option is to place a one year temporary fraud alert on your credit report. This is free and each of the bureaus allows it. I do believe if you place an alert with one bureau that they will inform the others, however I would probably just place an alert with all three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) just to be safe. There shouldn’t be a cost for this type of alert. I’ll link directly to each of the bureaus below so you can grab more info if you need it.
7 Year Fraud Alert on Credit Report (Extended Fraud Alert)
You can also file a police report and/or report this identity theft to the FTC in order to get a 7 year extended fraud alert for free. Capital One advised that local police departments can be difficult to deal with and recommended going the route of the FTC.
Important Identity Theft Fraud Alert Links & Phone Numbers
Here are some important links if someone applied for a credit card in your name and you need to place a fraud alert and/or report the theft to the FTC.
- FTC Report Identiy Theft – https://www.identitytheft.gov/
- FTC Fraud Alert Info – https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
- Equifax Fraud Alert Info – Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services or 800-685-1111
- Experian Fraud Alert Info – Experian.com/help or 888-397-3742
- Transunion Fraud Alert Info – TransUnion.com/credit-help or 888-909-8872
Free Credit Monitoring Tools
I highly recommend that everyone subscribes to free credit monitoring at the very least in order to protect against this type of fraud. There are many paid services like Lifelock that can provide additional levels of protections as well.
Here are a few free credit monitoring tools that I personally use:
- Credit Karma – I’ve been using this service for 5 or 6 years
- Capital One CreditWise – Free for everyone. You don’t have to be a Capital One Customer.
- Experian Free Credit Monitoring
If you are a Discover cardholder their alerts work as well. More info here.
Fraudulent Credit Card Application – Bottom Line
Someone placed a fraudulent credit card application in my name and it sucks! I’m glad that Capital One stopped the application, but now I have to be even more diligent in protecting my credit and finances. While having a fraud alert on my credit will be a pain, it will ensure I am contacted whenever someone applies for credit in my name which will give me some peace of mind.
Have you ever had someone fill out a fraudulent credit card application in your name? What did you do when you found out they applied for a credit card without you knowing? Share your experiences in the comments!