Woman falls victim to identity theft, calls it 'nightmare' after 40 credit cards applied to her name
MOSCOW MILLS, MISSOURI: Shanon Coleman, a Lincoln County woman's life has turned upside down as for two months now she's fighting extreme identity theft. All of her accounts and cards have been emptied and someone hasn't stopped yet even after applying for 40 credit cards in Coleman's name besides the loan. For Coleman, it is a "traumatic nightmare" which she suspects started from her phone as her online accounts and video games began to get spammed by a "pop-up bubble." Coleman felt so sacred about the identity theft that she choose to remain silent about the trauma she was in.
She describes her struggle, “A nightmare. A traumatic nightmare,” Coleman told KSDK. Coleman said, as she would suspect that it started from her phone, “All of a sudden, it would pop up a bubble that said live screen view.” Then the situation began to unfold giving Coleman a shock of her life as she would witness her online accounts and even her children's video games getting compromised. “Our bank accounts have been emptied, any cards, or any accounts of the sort, have been emptied,” Coleman said.
Coleman's credit was frozen, but it didn't stop someone from applying for over 40 credit cards in her name despite that, which she felt was crazy and scared her beyond one's imagination. “Just last week we had another call about a $9,500 loan,” said Coleman. “I was even scared to tell anybody because it’s so farfetched. It’s crazy!”
The report mentioned, Director of security and privacy programs for Consumer Reports, Amira Dhalla saying that the stories like Coleman's have become all too common. “You are seeing this quite often now on TikTok where adults are seeing more spyware attached to their devices,” Dhalla said, however, there are ways one can protect himself from being getting scammed as contacting the major credit bureaus, it can take time before identity theft victims see real help.
The steps she recommends are "setting up multi-factor authentication so even when someone has access to your accounts, devices, or information they’re not able to get in.” On being asked if there was anything people can do so they don't have to wait, Dhalla said, “It does mean it takes a long time to get to all of these different cases for all of these individuals. Coleman has requested people to be aware for it has definitely turned lives upside down, "I just want everybody to be aware because it has definitely turned our lives upside down”.
US government for identity theft says, "Identity (ID) theft happens when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud. The identity thief may use your information to apply for credit, file taxes, or get medical services. These acts can damage your credit status, and cost you time and money to restore your good name. Report identity (ID) theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. The FTC will collect the details of your situation," as per the government website.