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Identity theft

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    As many of you probably wondered when you saw this thread and who started it, I'm kind of amazed I managed to avoid being a victim for this long.

    Yet, now that thing that everyone thinks just happens to someone else happened to me and the circumstances are even more disturbing.

    A few nights ago, I went on Credit Karma and checked my scores, both were in the "good" range. I noticed, however, that one was down 11 points. I checked why and I noticed that there was a credit card account that I did not apply for and there was a balance of $3,300 on it with a limit of $4,000.

    I filed a dispute with that credit bureau and the next morning I called the bank that issued the card. They closed the account and said I was not liable for those charges. Today, they called me and we put a seven-year fraud alert on my credit reports. I can still get approved for credit if I apply. I just have to jump through a few more hoops.

    I also filed a report with the FTC. I tried to file a copy of the FTC report with my local police department but the person at the desk said they don't accept those reports and I'd have to call them and file one with their form.

    Here's the really disturbing part. the bank gave me the phone number and email that were used on the application. I did not recognize either. The area code is in a neighboring state, but one where I never lived. The email was a Yahoo account that I may have opened several years ago, but never really used it. I can't remember.

    I called the phone number and my youngest brother answered. I explained what happened and he didn't seem to be aware of it. He also said that someone had opened a bogus account with his name, too.

    Today, when I talked to the bank, I asked where some of the charges were made. One was in the town where he worked. Another was in the town where he lives (I live there, too). There were others in the town where his ex-wife and kids live and towns near that town.

    I don't want to think it's him, but I'm having a hard time seeing a way it isn't.

    He was in a pretty tough financial situation when he moved in with me, between jobs, his car was repossessed and child support was killing him. He's a good guy, a good father, a hard worker. We get along well. I guess sometimes good people in bad situations can do bad things.

    I'm not sure what to do now. I don't want to see him go to jail. I don't want his life to be messed up any more than it has been, but there was a time when my credit was awful and I've worked really hard to get it to where it is, with a 100 percent on-time payment rate in the last several years and I don't want to see that wrecked.

    For now, I'm going to let the credit bureau and bank's investigations run their course, but I'm not sure what else to do or how to handle the elephant in the room when dealing with him.

    And is there any chance it isn't him?
  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    It's him.

    Why is he dumb enough to use his own phone number?

    Did you cut him off in traffic once?
    cjericho and BurnsWhenIPee like this.
  3. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Jeez, man, that's an awful situation to be in. I have been a victim a couple of times, once that required a whole lot of paperwork and phone calls to start to straighten out. I can't imagine how it feels to be in your shoes, though.

    My major one was people setting up accounts with mail order catalogs that bill after sending merchandise. I only discovered it when I started getting bills from places I had never heard of. I did a lot of sleuthing between trips to the police, etc., and tracked the thieves down to a trailer park in New Jersey. Unfortunately, since I shared that info with the police, I couldn't drop by that trailer and introduce the occupants to Mr. Cricketbat.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Maybe it was the ex-wife, trying to get back at him by making you think your brother stole your ID? Just spitballing.

    My one time was that I'd forgotten to put my lock on my locker at the gym and didn't realize until later that night that someone had gone in, taken my wallet, taken out the cash (maybe $20) and my credit card, then put my wallet back. I called my bank, and the guy had used my card for gas, eaten at a fast-food place, then, just a few minutes before my call, spent several hundred dollars at Best Buy. The bank reversed the charges.

    I went to the police and filed a report, but they never caught the guy.
  5. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    It is admirable that you don't want his life to be any more screwed up than it is, but he didn't give you the same consideration, so do what you need to do.

    You could set a little trap and ask him to keep his ears open, since you talked to the police and they are "pursuing it vigorously." May lead to him coming clean. If he doesn't, then whatever happens, happens.

    And you're right, he definitely did it.
  6. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Just wanted to say this. ... I don't know if your brother did it, Small. Circumstantially, it doesn't look good, as you know. Whatever you do, you seem like a really good guy; good natured. However you deal with it, there's no right or wrong. He's your brother. If you don't blow up whatever relationship you have with him (or want to have with him), hopefully you will keep your guard up from here on and limit his chances of harming you in the future. I am of the opinion that it's fine to let someone "get over on you" or take advantage of you once in a while, as long as you know what is going on and you do it with a purpose. Like when it is a sibling or a very old friend because of what the blow up will mean to you and your psyche. It's a perfectly fine choice, if that is how you feel. Just as confronting him and expressing your disappointment and getting angry with him is a valid way to deal. I'll forgive and move on sometimes, but I won't forget. If they need me in the future, I am going to be much more circumspect, not in an angry way, but because they used up too much good will.
    Tweener likes this.
  7. Mwilliams685

    Mwilliams685 Active Member

    I was ripped off by a family member several years ago. I couldn't directly prove it to authorities, but I had filed a report in case he was dumb enough to pawn some of the stolen items. Although he later admitted to it, I didn't pursue it further for the same reason you're referring to. He didn't up screwing up more and going to prison anyway for unrelated charges.

    All I can say is if you're not going to pursue it further with him, keep an eye on him if he's ever at your house. If he's guilty, he'll likely end up unintentionally ratting himself out.
  8. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Seems to me there's a chance it's the ex (not sure how shitty the split was), but it's either her or your brother, it seems, which is a hard spot to be in. Hope somehow the bank decides it's a neighbour of yours who plundered your mailbox.

    Along these lines... I signed the paperwork for a new mortgage yesterday. There is someone in the next town with the same name as me (different middle name) who is behind on his child support by $9,000, and is in default on a maxed-out credit card for $5,000. I had to sign a piece of paper that swore we're not the same person. But here's the rub. My lawyer said that if he ever goes $50K in the hole (which is entirely likely, given that child support goes on for a long time), the same transaction will cost me about $500 in legal fees to clear up. Nothing to do with me, except we have the same first and last name and live in roughly the same area. My problem though.

    We're all tied together in countless ways.
    Tweener likes this.
  9. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    A flip side of going easy on him because he's a relative, though, is if the brother is brazen enough to steal your identity and do that to a close relative, once he gets the impression it won't be blown up into a big-ass, relationship-threatening deal, the next time he gets the idea to do it (and even on a grander scale), would he be more or less likely to do it to you again?

    One of the best things you can do, IMO, is to make sure he knows actions have consequences.
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Now there's another card that was opened on July 12. I received something in the mail from Chase explaining my benefits. I didn't apply for the card nor did I ever receive it.
    About $500 on it. Gas stations, an amusement mark, supermarket...
  11. John B. Foster

    John B. Foster Well-Known Member

    I have the same first, last name and same date of birth with someone who lives in my current city that the police are looking for and it’s a fucking nightmare. It’s been since 2009. I do not wish it on my biggest enemy.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Is there anything you can do proactively to establish that you are two different people in advance, with the credit rating agencies and your lenders so it is flagged for them before that can ever come up?
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