Out of the frying pan and into the fryer
May 12, 2012 12:49 PM   Subscribe

Apparently someone took out a home loan in my name. What do I do now?

Today I got one of those letters that talk about what's being done with your personal information from Quantum Servicing (who I've never heard of.) I do not own a home, nor have I ever applied for a home loan. Even though I haven't gotten any sort of correspondence from Quantum before now, I can only assume this is identity theft.

I'm going to call Quantum on Monday. What information do I need on hand before making the call? Has anyone on AskMeFi had to deal with a situation like this? If you don't want to post your story here, feel free to send me a MeMail.

...like my financial problems couldn't get any worse. :(
posted by never nice to Grab Bag (22 answers total)
Please be aware that the "home loan" might not exist and "Quantum Servicing" may be the one who is trying to engage in identity theft.
posted by cairdeas at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2012 [36 favorites]

This sounds like a scam to me, but not in the way you are thinking.

Have you checked your credit reports? This is absolutely what you should do RIGHT NOW. I would not call the company who you have never heard of who claims to know more about you than you do. I mean it's possible this place is legit, but do you get what I'm staying?

Freecreditreport.com! NOW!
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:57 PM on May 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

What exactly was in the letter? Did it offer you any service or product?
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:58 PM on May 12, 2012

The reason I ask is because they might be randomly spamming people who are in financial trouble. They might have a list of people whose credit score is under a certain number and they might be sending offers to everyone on that list regardless of their home ownership status.

I doubt someone stole your identity to buy a home, because it is incredibly easy for the police to find a house! Identity theft usually is to buy easily sold consumer goods, gas, cash advances--things that don't leave a trace. Even then the smarter ones have the products shipped to an innocent third party so the police can't track them to their homes.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:01 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the official government link to get your free credit reports.
posted by caclwmr4 at 1:02 PM on May 12, 2012 [26 favorites]

two lights above the sea: you meant annualcreditreport.com, which is actually free (take it from the FTC). Freecreditreport.com are the jerks who try to charge you for an unnecessary membership.
posted by xil at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2012 [24 favorites]

Ok, looks like Quantum Servicing is a real mortgage company in Tampa, FL. it also looks like that company has a B+ on BBB. Searching Quantum Services Spam came up with nothing useful expect this information. Is this the same company who sent you the letter?

Check your reports. If you see nothing, I would call the number on the letter. Someone may have TRIED to take a loan out in your name. Or someone has the same name and when they checked the credit report (without the social and only the name) they found you? Just don't give this company ANY information other than your name (or any info they clearly don't already have).

And yes, I have used FCR in the past and just cancelled the membership. ACR works fine, too!
posted by two lights above the sea at 1:12 PM on May 12, 2012

Make sure the number on your letter matches up with the number that they list on their website. It may be someone sent you a letter claiming to be from a reputable company, but put their phone number down instead of the companies phone number.

And I believe http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ is the site you want to use to get your free yearly credit check. The other sites are all going to try to sell you something.
posted by markblasco at 1:28 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

In addition to going to annualcreditreport.com, you might want to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your file, which will make it more difficult to get credit in your name while you sort this out.
posted by TedW at 1:30 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @markblasco - None of the numbers listed on the website match up with the number on the letter (they're similar, but not exact.)

@the young rope-rider: The letter is simply a blanket FAQ letter that states "What does Barclays Bank PLC do with your personal information?" I don't have accounts with Barclays so that's why I'm concerned.

And yes, I'll be checking ACR, stat.
posted by never nice at 1:32 PM on May 12, 2012

If the numbers don't match up, than don't call the numbers on the letter, call the number on the website. If they have no record of you, than it's a scam, and you should report it right away. If they do have a record for you, than they will be able to explain why. The important thing is that by looking up the number, you know you are actually reaching the legitimate business, and not a bunch of scammers.
posted by markblasco at 1:37 PM on May 12, 2012 [6 favorites]

You can also got to your state's Attorney General's Office website and check if this is a now scam and/or get advice about how to proceed when you believe you are the victim of identity theft or how to proceed if there is a loan out in your name that shouldn't be there. The AG's office will likely be able to direct you to free, low cost or private attorneys who can assist you if there is some sort of action you need to take that you need help with.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:51 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Two possibilities I can think of:

A. Is it possible you have a credit card that's actually a Barclay's card but is issued in some other name, like an affinity group, or an airline card. For example, the US Air Dividend Miles Master Card is actually issued by Barclay's, but that may only be in the fine print on the back of the card, or in your cardholder agreement. It's possible Quantum services an account of that kind and is sending you the obligatory privacy notice without being very clear about it.

B. I've also sometimes gotten privacy notices from outfits that I don't do business with, and I just ignore them. I don't think there's any identity theft behind this. It's possible somebody just picked the wrong list to do a mailing with. This could be a mistake at the mailing house, not at the company sending the notice.
posted by beagle at 2:26 PM on May 12, 2012

The "Barclays" thing is highly indicative that its some kind of phishing attempt.

Barclays has a big consumer business overseas but just recently launched a US consumer presence which remains very small, hasn't yet launched lending, and which doesn't do business under its (UK holding company name) Barclays Bank PLC anyway. Typically lazy foreign fraudsters.

Whenever you this kind of thing you struggle to decide between two thoughts: "thank God criminals are so stupid; they'd do real damage if they weren't" and "my God if criminals this dumb still find it worthwhile to do do business, what does that say about the intelligence of their American victims."
posted by MattD at 3:03 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @beagle - True, that could be a possibility, but I want to speak to someone over at Quantum in any case.

@MattD - That's what made me suspicious as well, since I've only known of Barclays outside of the US and none of my cards are affiliated with Barclays.

Great advice so far! I'm not as anxiety-ridden as I was a few hours ago. :)
posted by never nice at 3:42 PM on May 12, 2012

When you speak to them, still be cautious. If they ask you to verify your identity by you giving them things like your full SSN, any bank details like account numbers, don't give them.
posted by marylynn at 4:02 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Don't call the number on the letter (there may be a scammer at the other end). Call the number on the company's website and ask if they really sent this.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 4:35 PM on May 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Weird... I got a letter from Quantum Servicing today too. As far as I know I also have no business with Barclays.
posted by drezdn at 7:27 PM on May 12, 2012

Best answer: Could you have a student loan that was sold to Barclays? It looks like that was the case in my situation, and the Quantum letter I got was telling me what information they might give to other people.
posted by drezdn at 8:14 PM on May 12, 2012

I'd still be wary, & get as much information from them while giving as little as possible, after you've done all you can to get info from credit beauraus.

Could it be related to previous debt issues you've had?

They are out of Tampa, you said; could be random, could be related, could be a mistake; we had turn up, during the RE bubble, a mortgage issued to someone else on our house. That was a nightmare to figure out. Florida is still a disaster & things are not going to be less confusing as the financial fraud train wreck keeps on running.
posted by tilde at 8:17 AM on May 13, 2012

Call them but give NO information to them, is there a reference number on the letter? If so, that's what you need to use.

Check your credit reports, if you find hanky-panky, hie thee to the police station post-haste to file a report, then get with each credit reporting firm, Experion, TransUnion and Equifax and put a freeze on your reports, with a note that you have been targeted for Identity Theft.

Chances are this is someone trying to to get information from you (rather than done something insane like taking out a mortgage in your name.) Even so, time to lock down the credit reports for now.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:33 AM on May 13, 2012

Response by poster: Just to follow up on this - yes, it was a student loan sold to Barclays that I was uninformed of. Nevertheless, I got my free credit report and everything on it looks good.
posted by never nice at 9:02 AM on June 13, 2012

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