I wanted to pass on my thoughts of Identity Theft after watching "Identity Theft -- Michelle Brown" on Lifetime Network.
I have had to deal with Identity theft since 1993. I never expected that I had to check my credit report on a regular basis. I never guessed what happened to me was "Identity Theft," until years later. I found out how hard it was to file a complaint to the police department. My case started when I went to purchase my first car, and learned that I had certain items on my credit report that was almost impossible for me to put there. I had proof that I was not even in the same state when the crimes where committed. The state I was in did not want to do anything about it since it did not happen in their state. I traveled to the state where the crimes started and went to the police station where the other person claimed to be living. I gave them the address, phone number, purchase history, anything I could think of. For all my work and information gathering, and traveling 1,000 miles to file a complaint, I was told basically that the address listed does not exist. The phone number given was for some Animal Clinic, and the Police would not be able to do anything about it. I spent hours, which turned into weeks, and months dealing with the Collection agency, the actual Creditors that reported my Social Security and no matter what information I gave them, they didn't listen they just asked, "Are you . . .?" Or "Is your Social Security. . .?", they didn't care about the person on the phone, they just wanted to collect the money.
I learned it was much easier to have agencies issue your name and social to the Credit Reporting agencies and no questions are asked, but when it comes time to correct a big issue, it seems it takes an act of congress to get something done, and still your credit is not fixed, your life is not fixed, the time you spent tracking down all the information needed to prove who and where you were at the time, meant nothing to them.
I am now finally getting my credit back into the good, but after 2000 I gave up fighting to have my credit report corrected. I learned that I could only wait for items to fall off my report and start tracking what comes off and what goes on. After almost 10 years my credit is starting to look good.
To this day I will not give out my Social Security to anyone, unless it is required by law. I will not post it on my checks, I will not post it on my drivers license, I have call blocking, I do not list my numbers in the phone books, I require a pass code on everything from bills to bank accounts. I have wanted to change my Social Security number, but found that my old one still points to me and never goes away.
I am just glad that now, there are people out there fighting for rights against the silent crimes. When they say it's somebody that we know, they are correct. It was family that acted on mine, but even though I had the name and location of the person, they did not want to do anything. This was something that was done in 2 different states, different bank accounts opened, different charges made, etc&.
So thank you for your time and there are people that understand what you are going through, because I am one of them.
If Michelle Brown reads this, your story was right on the money. GOOD JOB.