RALEIGH, N.C. -- It's never a good sign when credit and debit cards arrive in your mailbox that you didn't apply for.
That's what happened to Paula Holley -- not just once, but multiple times.
"This is the card and I know I did not apply for a card, so I got real nervous."
Holley said she was also shocked at the credit limit.
"It's $17,000, my credit is ok, but $17,000 is a lot," she told our sister station WTVD.
A few days after getting the credit card in the mail that she didn't apply for, she got debit cards in the mail.
"I got these two Cash App Visa debit cards, and I don't have a Cash App, I don't use Cash App."
She reported the fraud to both companies. Once it was investigated, Holley learned someone used her personal information to apply for the cards, personal information that could have been exposed during a data breach.
WHAT TO DO IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU
If this happens to you, report the fraud to the company sending the card, and also report it to the three credit bureaus so it doesn't impact your credit score.
Another tip is to consider a security freeze on your credit. This way no one can open a line of credit in your name, including you while the freeze is in place.
Holley was lucky that she was the one to get the credit cards out of her mailbox before the scammer.
How this scam works successfully is if the cards are intercepted before the fraud is detected.
"You just have to be so careful in everything that you do. You don't know who's looking who's watching, who has your information," Holley adds. This is why it's important to keep a watchful eye on your credit report often. Right now on https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action you can get free weekly online credit reports at the three major credit bureaus.