Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Identity Theft

My sister called me at the end of April, reporting a collections notice in my name at her address in Columbus OH.  She called to inquire with the company and found that someone had opened an account in my name, with my social security number and date of birth, then hadn't paid a bill of $160.  I mean, if you were going to do some damage, wouldn't you choose something a little bigger?  Well, in filing reports and complaints and paperwork and calls, I've thoroughly reviewed all 3 of my credit reports (because there are 3 agencies.. the things I'm learning!) and found 2 additional breaches in my identity.  For the love of mike! That measly $160 is now a measly $2,271 for a US Cellular account and another measly $254 for, get this, an Ice Mountain Spring Water account.  If this weren't so irritating, it'd be funny. Today, as I called the Federal Trade Commission to update my identity theft affidavit, the nice lady on the phone casually says, "in reviewing the thefts, it appears that the person may have attempted to open a small business in your name and SSN". WHAT?!!  Is that freakin' possible?!  After chatting it up with the IRS, there have been no new businesses opened under my name, so thank goodness for that!

I've been to the GRPD twice, have to go again tonight to get an officer's signature for the first of possibly three fraud packets I have to complete and mail in to prove that I did not in fact, live in Chicago in 2010 but in Grand Rapids MI.

What a pain.  All for a cell phone account, a U-verse account and some water.  What's wrong with these people?  Why can't they get a job, use their own shit and leave mine alone?

I haven't been stressed about it all, it's just tedious and my butt hurts from the hours, literally, sitting in front of my computer and on the phone.  I have pages of records of who I spoke to, for which company and when and what they said.  There have been tears when US Cellular wouldn't release information about this alleged account and the collection agency wouldn't either... I mean, it's my freakin' SSN, and I ain't paying just to pay!  The good news is once I complete the police report and the paperwork, I can have the collections off my credit report and I won't owe any money... but there's always that looming chance they'll use it again.

Moral of the story:  check your credit reports occasionally.  Mine have 3 addresses in Chicago where I've never lived... see who is doing credit inquiries and call them to see why if you haven't authorized it.  If Michelle hadn't gotten that notice, I wouldn't know anything about it and who knows when I would have... maybe when I apply for a new credit card or loan... it's good to be in the know.

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