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Ask Slashdot: What Should You Do If Someone’s Trying To Steal Your Identity?

Long-time Slashdot reader shanen “just got the darnedest phone call…”

The caller knew my name and the name of a bank that I’ve done business with, and obviously my phone number, but beyond that I have no idea what was going on… There is no problem with my account. She was quite clear about that, but she had no clear reason for calling. As I got more and more suspicious, she asked me to wait and she eventually transferred the call to a man, who claimed to be a manager at the bank, but the entire thing stinks to high heaven.

All I could think of was to suggest that I call him back, but he was apparently unable to provide a phone number that I could independently verify. Why not give me the bank’s phone number that I could check on the Internet? One would think that I could then transfer to his extension. After almost nine minutes I just hung up, and now I realize that I have the caller’s phone number, but that isn’t definitive evidence of anything. A scammer might know that blocking the phone number would have made things more suspicious…

So what should I have done? Do you have any similar experiences to share? Or have I missed warnings about some new scam that’s going around? Now I realize that they could start from names and phone numbers and just guess for the largest banks. Maybe I got suspicious too quickly, before she could start asking for the personal information she was really after?
The original submission also includes this question: “If it’s an identity theft in progress, then I want to stop it and fast, but how can I tell what’s going on?” So leave your own thoughts in the comments.

What should you do if you think someone is trying to steal your identity?

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