Gotta vent, so I get my VA letter telling me that I'm in the set of people who got their records stolen..
First - thanks VA! It's not that hard to make sure that sensitive info doesn't make it out on laptops like that - with that many records, it's not like it was an Excel spreadsheet - they actually had a local database on the friggin thing - duh.
Second - so now they say to check your credit report regularly.. ok, I get my one free one every year, than I gotta pay for all others after that! On top of that, frequently accessing your report can drop your score!
So they goof up, and now I gotta pay just to monitor.. Where are the consumer protections for monitoring my own credit? Probably stuffed in the back of some lobbyists closet..
Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) R. James Nicholson told reporters Monday that burglars stole 26.5 million veteransí records containing names, social security numbers and dates of birth from a VA data analystís house sometime in May.
I sure hope they nail this assh*les balls to a stump and push him over backward.
Here are some good ideas.
The VA has set up a special Web site at www.firstgov.gov/veteransinfo and a toll-free telephone number, 800-FED-INFO or 800-333-4636, that feature up-to-date news and information on the data compromise.
Tips on how to watch for suspicious activity include the following:
-- Closely monitor your bank and credit card statements for fraudulent transactions. Monitoring accounts online is the best way to detect fraud early.
-- Place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit report, which tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. This action may cause some delays if you are trying to obtain new credit.
-- It is only necessary to contact one of three companies to place an alert. That company is then required to contact the other two. The three companies are Equifax (800-525-6285, www.equifax.com); Experian (888-397-3742, www.experian.com); and TransUnion (800-680-7289, www.transunion.com).
Once the fraud alert has been posted, you are entitled to free copies of your credit reports. Review these reports for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted or accounts you didn't open. The alert can be renewed after 90 days.