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Old 11-23-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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Sooooo after being really rude to debt collectors twice this week, I did some googling, and found out that I might want to follow up on what they were alleging. Turns out some asshat opened up a Home Depot account with my name, possibly my SSN bought a freaking toilet or whatever you can buy at Home Depot, racked up $1400ish and then ditched. A year ago.

Had to file a police report, which I'm actually going to have to pay $10 to get a copy of. Had to file a fraud alert with a credit company (will need to do this to the other two, because apparently they say they pass it along, but a lot of the time they don't). But it's only good for three months! It only takes five minutes for somebody with my info to open a credit card, so why is three months this magically protecting number? I'm going to have to get all my paperwork BS together and file a victim claim so nobody can use my SSN for 7 years. Tried calling Citibank this morning, but the fraud line said call back during business hours (this was AFTER 9) but didn't tell me what their version of business hours was. But clearly, debt collectors could wake me up at 8. Will have to fill out more paperwork with them. More paperwork also with the fucking debt collectors.

The reason I ignored them to begin with is because they called my damn Grandma in PA first. Didn't clearly ID who they were. When I called, there was no place to enter the ext. I was given, and the guy who answered just mumbled the acronym for the company (Pioneer or PCR) three times without saying his name or asking if I needed help then transferred me to a woman telling my about a Home Depot account (haven't been in a Home Depot in a decade) and bandying about the last 4 of my SSN. Then threatening me by saying she has caller ID when I tell her that this sounds like a scam. Not "our client blah blah blah, but you may have been a victim of credit card fraud." Like, no options. I know there are debt-shirkers out there, but how bad would I have let this get before realizing what had happened? The worst part is that I googled the number, and got a bunch of people complaining about harassing phone calls the first time, until finally after today's phone call, one honest (but still weird) person complained that they just had "a little debt" and why are these people harassing her? Then I was like, oh crap, this is probably for real.

So what's amazing - and that's totally sarcastic - is that I'm unemployed right now. I've decided that I have shit luck. My unemployment is a choice, but a calculated one. But every "strategic" and "calculated" move I make, evidently, is like slow suicide. Because I have no gambler's sense. So when we have a T-Punk poker meetup, you can all expect to clean me out. When I initially made this decision, I was in a threatening job situation, and I still own it, but it's all coming clear to me that God thinks I have no sense of humility, and is going to beat it into me. I shit you not, I am HUMBLE now, You can stop.

And of course, you know it gets worse/more interesting, whatever you want to call it. I just filled out paperwork to begin my federal background check. I don't download mp3s, watch TV on the internet outside of station web sites, let under-21's attend my parties, or allow my friends to talk about pot-smoking in front of me, because I have been preparing for this opportunity for years. I have always paid in full on my only credit card and made my student loan payments on time. This debt will stop my clearance cold. Hicham told me that here I was all this time worried that him being an Arab would hinder my clearance, and now I could hurt him! (I asked if they wouldn't let him be a terrorist because of my bad credit, but he meant that it would affect his citizenship - both bad jokes...but hey!)

Soooo, the story I'm going to stick to is that the loser criminal spent my good credit reputation in Prada, and not Home fargin Depot. Annnd, I don't really know what to do about my business sense or whatever you want to call it. I'm clearly just not capable of making winning decisions about my life.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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Wow...I'm really sorry Jessica. I really hope this doesn't affect your clearance I wonder how it happened? And why did it take a year to get back to you?

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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Wow that sucks Jess. Identity theft seems to be the crime of choice these days...I hope things get worked out for ya! Hang in there!
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:28 AM   #4
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Woah, I am sorry Jess, that sucks. Stay strong and hopefully you can get to the bottom of this.
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Old 11-24-2007, 08:45 AM   #5
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I'm so sorry to hear about that Jess, that sucks!

I am mad that the person who stole your identity chose to buy a toilet at HD, and not, oh I don't know, jewelery or a sail boat or something.... you know? I always imagined those who steal identities to spend friviously, you know? Not so much on a toilet. Very strange.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:04 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by pinknic38 View Post
I'm so sorry to hear about that Jess, that sucks!

I am mad that the person who stole your identity chose to buy a toilet at HD, and not, oh I don't know, jewelery or a sail boat or something.... you know? I always imagined those who steal identities to spend friviously, you know? Not so much on a toilet. Very strange.

Sometimes being frugal is a good thing because it draw less attention. If I was doing this for a living, I would try to purchase items that doesn't raise any red flags because you still need time to cover your tracks. Buying a boat on credit is just asking for trouble.

But then again, there has been stories of how people managed to take out mortgages with someone else's identity.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:33 AM   #7
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That really, really sucks Jess. I assume your doing this already, but make sure you get a copy of your credit report from each of the major bureas: Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. Check them very thoroughly. You can also freeze your credit with each of the bureaus so that no one (not even you) can open a new credit account until you unfreeze it with the bureaus. You may want to consider doing this (maybe that's what you were talking about doing in your note already, I wasn't sure).

I would encourage everyone to pay for one of those credit monitoring services that most credit card companies offer. These services send you a notice any time anyone accesses your credit file or anytime a derogatory report is filed. It can alert you early if somebody is stealing your identity.

Good luck Jess, it can be a royal pain to get this all straightened out. I hope they catch the asshole who did this.
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Old 11-24-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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Wow, thats going to be a real pain to clean up.

You might also look into security freezes on your reports...There's a fee for this but it doesn't expire. No one can check your credit unless you call the agency to unfreeze your report for a period of time. This can be a hassle though since credit gets checked so often, even for insurance and renting an apartment and whatnot. But if you don't have new people checking often it might make sense.

http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:16 PM   #9
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I'm so sorry Jessica. That is a real pain in the arse. Hope you can get out of it.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:30 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! It feels good to vent, even though I still break down when I talk about it. Only my boyfriend knew, and when my roommate got back from seeing his fam for T-Giving, he asked me how mine went and I started crying. It's just so frustrating. I want to know when I get a break. When I get a reward for what I'm putting myself through! This is just totally unnecessary. I already feel like a failure without having to defend my fiscal responsibility.

I think I just want it to be something cool or extravagant, because it makes the person more evil and the situation more outlandish. I said toilet because that's such a lame thing to mess with my life for. What I don't understand is that my credit card calls to verify whenever I buy something weird (like plane tickets processed overseas). Why is the government so careless with my information? That's why I hate the credit card offers in the mail and retail stores asking me instantly if I want to sign up for a card they JUST approved for me. It shouldn't be that easy to get credit!

Blargh. At least I have my health, and my friends, and my family...and all their nice couches to sleep on when I have no place to live!
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Old 11-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #11
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I know a little bit about the clearance process. Just because this has happened doesn't mean that you'll get shot down. The investigators are pretty smart, they'll be able to recognize its not a tab you've run up. I wouldn't give up just yet. It all comes down to honesty. You can PM me if you wanna talk more about it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:12 PM   #12
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Thanks! I have been driving the HR ladies nuts with all my questions, but I'm pretty sure I'm doing everything I can. I'm just nervously anticipating my credit reports - I have to fill out a special thing for fraud. I'm just so nervous because I'm already such a pain in the ass to begin with, that I just don't want to get stuck in the system for eternity. We're looking at a 4-6 month time frame on that dealy.

Please, guys, cross your fingers that this was a one shot occurrence and that there are no more mystery charges on my identity.

But to prove that I'm not all doom and gloom - some interim career stuff is starting to turn around for me. So mama may be able to eat while she waits for the feds to finish calling her relatives. (They seriously want to go back to when I was 10!! 10!!!)
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"I set out alone, finding no companion to cheer the way with friendly intercourse, and no party of travellers with whom to associate myself. Swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a long-cherished desire to visit those glorious sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my friends and tear myself away from my home."
---Ibn Battuta, CE 1325


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