WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — A Wesley Chapel woman says beware of what you get in the mail. Cheryl Barger recently opened a letter that had a Walmart Money card inside with her name on it.
"It actually had a legit card number on it, with an expiration date and my name and a security code on the back,” Barger said.
But, she never applied for the card. In order to apply for the card online, you must provide a name, address, and social security number.
She believes her social security number is still out there because she was a victim of Identity theft a year and a half ago.
"I found out that somebody had applied for a credit card in my name and used that credit card to go onto the website for the United States Postal Service and physically change my mailing address,” she said.
For a month all her mail was shipped to the other address allowing scammers access to all kinds of personal information.
When this letter showed up with her information on it, she knew something wasn’t right.
"I did contact the company and I told them that I did not apply for this so they did flag it as fraud,” she said. "They informed me that whoever opened this account had already started putting test samples of deposits into the account to see if it was open.”
The Better Business Bureau says this type of scam seems to be targeting people who are already victims of I.D. theft. They say each year, about 7% of homes fall victim to I.D. theft. Which means, if you get this card, you need to call your bank right away.
The BBB offers tips on its website including how to freeze your credit:
"Consumers in the United States have access to a powerful tool -- the credit freeze -- to lock down their credit reports and prevent identity thieves from establishing new lines of credit in their names. Alternately, you can place a fraud alert on your credit reports, although that provides less protection than a freeze."
You also want to call law enforcement to report the fraud.
Barger says she worries for people who may not know they are currently victims of I.D. theft.
"If an elderly person receives this thinking they had to use this for their Social Security or whatever they’re getting every month, they could potentially lose all their money,” said Barger.