After thieves stole her handbag and briefcase and everything inside - credit cards, checkbooks, business and Social Security documents, Louette Duvall, 67, told NBC News she scrambled to freeze or close her bank accounts and alert her credit card companies as fraudulent charges appeared.
Then she began thinking about how the criminals could use information about her to do further damage, like create bogus credit cards and checkbooks to buy things in her name, or file a false tax return to reap a bogus refund.
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So she dialed the Federal Trade Commission, where she hoped to file a complaint and seek help on how to contain her losses.
No one picked up.