New Castle County Police have received multiple reports from residents that they have received a letter from American Express indicating that a bank account had been opened in their name. The letter goes on to explain that American Express closed the account within a day or two. No purchases were made and no victim lost any money.
The letters from American Express are legitimate and they are meant to inform the recipient that their personal information may have been compromised through well publicized data breaches. It is unknown exactly when, or how, the personal information was obtained.
Members of the public who believe that their personal information may have been compromised are urged to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at their website: https://www.identitytheft.gov/Assistant. The website provides additional instructions as to steps that can be taken in response to a possible identity theft.
In addition, victims of identity theft can follow this advice from the FTC:
If a company responsible for exposing your information offers you free credit monitoring, take advantage of it.
Get your free credit reports from:
Check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize.
Consider placing a free credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
Try to file your taxes early — before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you’ll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt — even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they’re from the IRS.
Continue to check your credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting companies once a year.
More information is available from the Federal Trade Commission at their website: www.identitytheft.gov