Insurance companies regularly check your credit when you sign up, so it was shocking that Progressive would have issued the policy to my wife without telling her the file. But it has listed TransUnion as a “financial responsibility seller” – an amusing euphemism if you know how long consumer advocates have been complaining to consumer advocates? Use credit data to set rates – And sure enough, my wife’s frozen credit file indicated that Progressive had pinged it this month.
how? Incredibly, one exception often allows insurance companies to check your credit, even if you don’t want anything to do with them. As we learned, that exception meant that Progressive could help himself to his wife’s file – which in turn helped someone Pick pocket Like New York State and its taxpayers, like us.
In his intelligence, Progressive considered my wife sufficiently responsible for warrant coverage. Luckily for us, Mr. Pastrnak was paying! The second page of our welcome packet stated that “the authorization you gave for the payment of your first installment” was to come from a bank account with its name on it.
So meet our new best friend. With a name like Shiran Pastrnak, she was a quick internet search. Was he a thief? We thought But if he was, he was doing a pretty good job of hiding it. Like my wife, he had “progressive welcome” packages and notes from the state about a mysterious unemployment claim he had never recorded. (The bank accounts and routing numbers in their progressive packets were similar to ours, but neither had any connection to the institutions where any of us conduct our financial business. Because the numbers were cut, it was impossible to find out Whether they come from a third. Person or was made up.)
Once we put all of that together, Mr. Pastrnak – coincidentally a former New York Times employee – breathed a partial sigh of relief in Irvington, N.Y., and pushed me forward to find out what happened to all of us. Has happened.
Here’s how it works.
Automobile insurers – even those you don’t use – already know a lot about you. They Share Claims Information To help get themselves out of useless or careless customers who try to jump to another provider. They can also access your driver’s license number, your current auto policy data, and the make and model of your vehicle. Often, they purchase this information from states (who send money back when buyers are negligent and unemployment fraud victims).
Insurers want to make it easier to apply for a policy. So once you start entering information, they like to help you and want to fill some of those empty spaces for you. For some unfortunate victims, it was as simple for the scammer as copying the driver’s license number that popped up, although it usually required more technical information.