Since identity theft is in the news often and apparently the incidence is increasing I was wondering how many people here have been victims of it?
My own experience happened about 9 years ago. This was before we bought a house. We were living in a fairly large and fancy apartment building in a different suburb of Boston. It was the kind of building with a rental and maintenance office right in the building, 24 hour security guards, etc. Our mail was left in little locked boxes in the lobby that supposedly only the mailman had the key to.
One day I got a call from a well known credit card company asking if I had recently made several large cash advances at an ATM on my VISA card. Well, I had several credit cards then, but none of them were with this company, none of them were VISA, and I never do cash advances.
The operator asked me if I wanted to cancel the account and I said yes. It turned out our building had been “red-flagged” because of several instances of people getting issued cards they hadn’t applied for, which they never saw and on which large cash advances were made.
I was later contacted by a US Post Office investigator. After getting my side of the story he told me he suspected someone other than the mailman had access to the mail room in our building and was intercepting these cards before the people whose names they were in could get them. He said the victims were all male, and like me all had generic “American” sounding names.
He said he had his suspicions but that he had not been getting the kind of cooperation he wanted from the building management. For example, they had installed a hidden camera in the mail room, but the building manager told everyone it was there, so naturally they didn’t catch any suspicious activity!
We were able to get all the impostor’s activity removed from my credit report, and we put a note on it to tell creditors not to issue credit without verbal permission from me.
They eventually caught the guy…turns out it was a building security guard. The Post Office investigator had suspected him because he was Nigerian, and he claimed Nigerians were often involved in this type of scheme (don’t know if there is any truth to this, just relaying what he said). He had somehow gotten a duplicate key to the mailroom. I never understood why the didn’t just change the locks early on.
Anyone else have a story?