Identity Theft

Every so often, the Ex-GF seems to be the victim of identity fraud. Its happening again right now. Apparently someone took out store cards and credit cards in her name in San Luis Obispo, which is a few hours north of here.

We’ve discovered this because they’ve been sending bills to my mother’s house, which is the address we sometimes use as a mailing address. So far, it seems cards have been taken out in her name at Best Buy, Macy’s, Sears, and who knows where else. So far, we’re talking thousands of dollars at each store.

Part of the reason this keeps happening is that, frankly, the cops don’t care. A few years ago, she was victimized by someone she knew. She was able to track down who it was – the fool used her credit card number to have pizza delivered to his house. Despite the evidence, the cops refused to do anything.

This time around, when she found out she was being victimized again, she went down to police station. The cops said they won’t even pursue this without copies of the bills. So the Ex-GF has been on the phone with Best Buy, Macy’s, etc. Her experience with Macy’s has been typical. Someone opened both a store card and a credit card in her name. But… she doesn’t know the account number, or the Date of Birth used, or any other identifying information (imagine that!) used by the crook, so it took well over an hour to finally talk to anyone who was in a position to help. Also… while they have video of the person opening up the accounts, they are scheduled to destroy that video in a few days. The Ex-GF offered to drive up there and see if she can identify the person in the video… but the video is scheduled to be destroyed in a few days, and San Luis Obispo is a long way away. Can they hold it for a few extra days? Nope.

It seems that none of these stores have any interest in helping resolve the issue. After all, the Ex-GF is liable for their mistake unless she can prove to the satisfaction of all that it wasn’t her, sand if the Ex-GF can prove its fraud, it becomes their problem, so they’re better off not helping. Basically, its like they’ve been handed a scheme in progress from some fine Nigerian fellow and decide their best option is to keep the scam running.

And I note… even proving there is wrong information isn’t enough. The three credit agencies all list addresses where she supposedly lived in the past that were actually the residence of someone else with the same name, and there is a delinquency (presumably from the same source) on a car note. Repeated letters and phone calls over a period of several years have not produced any results at all. Zero. None.

Here’s the way I see it though. This was their mistake. They should be liable. It should be incumbent on them to resolve the situation, and if they can’t do it without her, they should pay her for her time. And if, by some chance, they have information about someone impersonating her – and surveillance video certainly qualifies – and that video is destroyed despite them having information about what is on the video, as far as I’m concerned they’re accessories after the fact. Especially if in the meantime they’ve sent her a bill.

If that’s the way the world worked, we wouldn’t be seeing identity fraud.