By Marty Griffin

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A West Mifflin woman who nearly lost her home when her identity was stolen reached out to Get Marty.

“Someone took a driver’s license with my information on it into a Maryland Bank and applied for a home loan. Someone took pictures of my home. Someone got my house appraised,” says Joanne Klotzbaugh.

Klotzbaugh believes her identity was stolen during the massive Equifax data breach this past summer. The company estimates 143 million Americans were effected.

“It’s been a nightmare. I mean a real nightmare,” says Klotzbaugh.

KDKA reached out to a local attorney to help Klotzbaugh.

“It’s a gigantic problem. It’s something you have to jump on early and watch closely,” says attorney James Pietz.

Pietz says here’s what you need to do:

  • Put a fraud alert on your credit files at all credit bureaus.
  • Next, get an identity theft report from the Federal Trade Commission. It’s all online.
  • Then get a police report at a local police department.

“[If you don’t,] there’s gonna be information on your credit reports that you owe this money, that you’re delinquent here, that there’s a lien on your house, that your bank account’s being garnished,” Pietz said, “and so you’ll need to go back and unravel all that.”

Fortunately, Klotzbaugh has an attorney.

“I’ve made a lot of progress. However, even with an attorney, folks are still trying to rip me off,” says Klotzbaugh.

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