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Old 06-18-2008, 06:11 AM
Location: Akron Oh
165 posts, read 372,932 times
Reputation: 142


Originally Posted by burnhagw View Post
that sucks, i'm sorry this happened to you.

They can get to your files if they know what their doing but seeing as their robbing people, they are probably not computer smart.
THEY may not be computer smart, but do you think THEY will be keeping the hot laptop with the serial number on it, otherwise known as evidence, or selling it for $100 to the first bidder?

If someone approached me with a $100 laptop, I would know it is hot and avoid it. However, not everybody has scruples. They will find a buyer. The upside is that the buyer will probably wipe the drive clean and rebuild it.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:19 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,808 posts, read 5,861,491 times
Reputation: 748
I just wanted to say how sorry I am that this happened to you. I don't have any other advice on what to do next regarding contacting your bank and credit card companies... but just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:20 AM
1,253 posts, read 4,163,428 times
Reputation: 622
Sorry to hear this and I hope you will be able to trust again.

My wife and I were broken into last year in our Southpark appartment. Funny we lived in DC for 6 years with no trouble and moved to Charlotte and were broken into within 8 months.

Is it just me or is crime in Charlotte getting out of control?
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:36 AM
Location: Ballantyne - Endhaven Communities
280 posts, read 858,572 times
Reputation: 65
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
The crook(s) that took your laptop could not defeat even the simplest password protection unless they are techies, probably not.
They simply want to sell it for quick money for whatever their vice is, so I would not stress that too much.
Sadly, this is not the case. Defeating the password is very simple and more and more often, people are stealing these items because they KNOW that there is much value in someone's hard drive. Most of us do all of our banking and everything else online these days, and the information we have saved is valuable - and they know it. I would definitely be careful and sign up for an identity theft protection service that will monitor your credit report, etc.
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Old 06-18-2008, 07:59 AM
3,322 posts, read 4,536,618 times
Reputation: 1539
Sorry to hear about this and I hope you get your life back to normal very soon. Be thankful that these items are replaceable, although it is a pain in the arse. Keep us up to date with the investigation. I would love to see these thugs caught.
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:04 AM
158 posts, read 419,254 times
Reputation: 37
I too am sorry that this happened to you. It apppears that everyone here has given you the best advice. The 'stuff' can be replaced, you can't Good luck and get back on the forum when you need to vent. My prayers are with you....
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:08 AM
677 posts, read 2,014,251 times
Reputation: 201
I'm sorry this happened to you. Everyone has listed some very good advice. Prayers are with you.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:16 AM
Location: Charlotte, NC
523 posts, read 2,607,593 times
Reputation: 373
So, the saga continues. In the middle of the night I had realized that my 3rd debit card was gone and I wasn't able to get through to a person to report it at the bank until this morning. There were two more gas station transactions. They used FOUR credit/debit cards at one gas station. And two at two other gas stations. My roommate thinks it must have been a gang of people because seriously how many gas station purchases can a person make?! What's good is that I now have two more transactions that should have been videotaped so hopefully will be closer to catching these a&&holes.

Now, of course, I am a little worried, though--hopefully, they're just thieves and not some worse type of criminal. I'm pretty sure they were scoping my place out in order to have timed it so that no one was home and no one was watching. They know what I look like and if they got into my computer they have a million of pictures of me, too. They had four transactions at the same gas station with each of my cards so that means there must have been multiple people using them as there is only so much gas a person can buy (pinless uses at the pump). My roommate thinks they were probably a gang--hopefully, not a gang that wants to terrorize a young female. I'm glad I have two male roommates.

This is the 2nd crime I have been witness to/been a part of in Charlotte in the past 3 months. Many people I know have been a victim of crime in Charlotte. I have lived in the DC area and Manhattan and never had a problem.

Ok, off to call my homeowner's insurance company now. Yay.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:20 AM
16,301 posts, read 24,910,065 times
Reputation: 8282
Gas stations are common 'test transactions' for stolen credit cards. It is a way to see if the card works without having to be face to face with a clerk at a store. If it works at the gas station, then off to the mall or electronics store for some more expensive spending.

Not sure I would link it to a gang based just on this, sharing their (your) working card with family and friends is more likely.

As a rule I never sign my cards, but print in large letters "ASK FOR IDENTIFICATION" in the signature area. 90%+ of clerks do, and I always thank them for asking, which limit them to some extent.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:54 AM
69 posts, read 163,556 times
Reputation: 72
I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you. Per your laptop, you need to write down an inventory of what you remember to be on the computer. If you had, for example, Quicken files, these could be useful to thieves. They will probably sell your laptop, and it could end up in the hands of a techie. Some additional information that may help you:

Identity Theft - If someone has used your personal identification to fradulently establish credit, report the incident as quickly as possible to each of the credit reportting agencies and request that a fraud alert be placed on your file
Experian 888 397 3742
Equifax 800 525 6285
Trans Union 800 680 7289

Obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies. Check to see whether any additional accounts were opened without your consent or whether unauthorized charges were billed to your accounts. To request copies of your credit reports call:
Experian 888 397 3742
Equifax 800 685 1111
Trans Union 800 916 8800
Contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 800 269 0271 to report unauthorized use of your personal identification number.
Contact your State Department of Motor Vehicles to see whether the Department has issued an unauthorized license number in your name. If so, notify them that you are a victim of identity theft.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by contacting the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline by telphone 1-877-IDTHEFT; TDD: 202 326 2502; by mail: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20580-0001 or online:Deter. Detect. Defend. Avoid ID Theft (http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft - broken link). Ask for a copy of ID Theft.
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at Federal Trade Commission - Home or 877-382-4357.

An identity thief doesn't just steal your credit card and go on a spending spree. He gets new cards,opens new accounts and takes out new loans, leaving a trail of unpaid bills in your name. He can even use your identity to commit crimes or acts of terrorism. Most victims don't find out what has happend until long afterward, when they're called by a collection agency or turned down for a loan.The thief may be someone you know. Setting the record straight is a nightmare and can take years. In serious cases, victims spend an average of 600 hours and $1400 in out of pocket expenses to repair their credit. Until you can prove your innocence, you may face higher insurance rates and credit card fees, be rejected for a student loan or mortgage, find you can't get a job--even be arrested for crimes you didn't commit.All a thiref needs is your social security number--which is routimely used by government agencies,health care providers, utility companies, employers and financial institutions. Even your video rental store has it. Often, this information is publicly available. And all your personal information is now for sale by data brokers. ChoicePoint, a huge data broker, revealed that it had unwittingly sold consumer social security numbers and credit reports to criminals posing as businessmen.You could stop ID thieves cold by freezing access to your credit file. The file becomes off-limits to anyone who doesn't know the secret PIN number that you choose. The result: a person applying for credit in your name is rejected, because the lender can't check your history to approve the application (your current credit cards aren't affected). And if you want to apply for new credit or let someone run a background check on you, you can get a credit thaw. Before shopping for a new car, for example, you might thaw your credit history for auto dealers.
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