So tonight I get a phone call from a credit card company stating that I owe them $19,500 with interest climbing daily.
I am very familiar with the whole give a little bit of information to get more information back routine. I made him give me all of my information, which he had. Social security number, Home phone (unlisted), Cell (unlisted), Work Number (big corporation, unlisted), said he talked to my wife (had her cell number) and at one point they say my wife told her that I was in the hospital with kidney failure on dialisis(sp), which i do not have nor ever did or was, and was why she was talking for me.
I asked him to fax me a copy of the charges at which point he told me that because I was asserting these were not my charges he could not do that. To which I was very lery of. So other than acknowledging that my name was Biggwin I never gave him any other information (never even repeated my information back as he read it to me, nor did I agree that it was my information even though it was) but asked him for his contact information and told him someone would contact him tomorrow.
So unless my wife has a secret gambling addiction and is getting her butt kicked I can account for 90% of all my cash spent in the time frame he gave for the charges. Going through the wife's closet there is nothing there she didn't tell me she bought when she bought it... so I am guessing I have been ID thieved!
First thing in the morning call the compan yourself. This whole thing sounds VERY fishy. Credit card companies are supposed to send you statements when you demand them. His refusal to send you anything makes it sound like maybe hes the one trying to commit fraud. I would call your company and ask them what is going on, and maybe even put a temporary freeze on your credit line to make sure no one tries to grab it without you putting a release on it first.
Contact Clark Howard via e-mail or clal during his show. Say nothing to anyone over the phone. They will send you a letter if it is legit. When you receive the letter, you have 30 days to contest the debt; if not, then you acknowledge the debt by default.
It might have been someone phishing to confirm your info. If you have a debt, they do not need your social security info at all. They will have an account number for them to use to track the debt. Do you shread or burn your junk mail? Do you drop off all bills at the US Post Office verses mail box?
Georgia has a huge meth problem, and users funds their addiction by robbing mailboxes. I take all mail to the USPO.
I called the number on their web page and he is legit... now have to figure out what the hell happened!
Anyone can have a web page, contact better Business Burea (BBB) and the Attorney General of the State ( In GA they are how a company can incorporate/license to practice in the state) to see if he/they are legit.
Not until he/they send you a letter to collect the debt, you have no neccessary action. A phone call means nothing. Whatever you do, do not acknowledge the debt or make any statements that can be construed as recognizing it. Collection agency wants 1 thing: money. They don't care it it's yours or Jimmy Joe Bob down the steet, no matter how friendly they seem on the phone.
Please contact a consumer advocate and/or a lawyer. If you are the victim of identifity theft, this is only the start.
From Clark Howard, the link I provided above:
Identity Theft Guide
If someone is using your identity and cashing your checks or credit cards, you should:
Report the situation immediately to your bank or credit card company. You may not have monetary liability because forgery and/or fraud is involved, but you will want the companies to be aware of the problem, as this is something that could affect your credit. In addition, follow these instructions to fully protect yourself:
a) Contact all three credit bureaus and issue a fraud alert. Check your credit report six months later and look for items you don't recognize.
b) Provide a copy of your driver's license to each agency's fraud unit in order to register an affidavit.
c) Contact the proper authorities in writing, via certified receipt request.
d) Inform your local police department, Social Security Administration and all creditors with whom you have accounts.
If a thief steals your identity and begins racking up debt:
A) Contact the fraud units of the three credit reporting agencies. Request that your account be flagged and add a victim's statement saying, "MY ID has been used to fraudulently apply for credit. Call me at this number to verify all applications." Find out how long the fraud alert will be posted and how to extend it if you need to. Check your credit report and look for items you don't recognize.
B) Contact your credit card companies and financial institutions to report the fraud. Get new cards, have old accounts colsed with a memo stating, "account closed at customer's request." Follow up in writing.
C) Call the police and get the crime on record, then get a copy of the police report. Keep a log of all conversations including date, name, phone number, and the information provided.
D) Notify the Federal Trade Commission, which keeps a database of identity thefts. Phone: (888) FTC-HELP; Address: FTC, CRC-40, Washington D.C. 20580.
E) Notify you bank and if necessary, cancel checking and savings accounts and get new account numbers. Request a password that may be used in every transaction. Get a new ATM card, account number and password. Don't use your SS # or birthdate as a password.
F) Don't pay any bill or part of a bill resulting from identity theft.
I'm by no means an expert, but I would recommend calling Clark's show. He's awesome.
No cash to be had, so I am paying the debt off myself
Are you some sort of a doormat? File a report with the police and press charges. You aren't responsible for their crimes. They committed fraud in your name. While I know that it's common to cut some slack for family members, this is completely ridiculous. They stole your identity and nearly $20,000.00!!! It's quite clear that they have no consideration for anyone but themselves. Do you think that someone that greedy would do the same for you if the situation were reversed?
Just cause a family membered charged in your name doesnt mean you are responsible for the charges unless you are their guardian.
I mean you have two avenues here
1) the credit card company cant legally hold you responsible for the charges on a credit card you never agreed to own.
2) you can go to town on your family member
1) is specially true if you didnt get the credit card which is amigious in this thread. I mean if you didnt get the credit card then you signed and agreed to nothing. If you got the card then its harder because the line of credit legally exist. But if you werent the party that agreed to the card they might as well have just send you a bill that says "we got defrauded and now were pissing in the wind". I cant remember if I posted on this thread or not but i remember thinking well if you didnt sign anything, electronically sign, or otherwise agree to the existance of the credit line how are you legally responsible for the existance of the charges? This is between the victim (the credit card company) and the criminal (your family member). This is not your problem, and I suspect a good lawyer can get it resolved that way for you.
Get yourself a lawyer. There is no way that a lawyer cant resolve this cheaper for you after billing unless there is more to this story.
You know, thinking about if, if someone in my family had the contempt for me to do that to me I honestly don't even know if I'd be thinking straight enough to file charges, let alone just let it slide and pay the fraud myself and do nothing. In such a case the rest of my family would probably prefer charges to the alternative as the alternative might result in more damage. But then I don't cope well with betrayal. You're certainly far more even tempered than most people I know about this.
Biggwin has made his choice no reason to bash him for it after he was nice enough to tell us his story. Sorry to hear you won't get your money back or justice. Remember soap in a sock....
For those of you who can't think of a reason not to press charges, what if it was his dying grandmother that is senile (sp?) and got suckered into the home shopping network. (Just an example, not what HAPPENED!!) There is always more to a story then you know, I think everyone here has had people wrongly assume things about them before right....
i doubt a senile old person would have the ability to sign up for a credit card offer, of somebody else, nor themselves. sounds more like something a young person would do though, or an immature "adult". if it were a child, i could see not pressing charges...but the parents should pay, even if its a brother or sister who are the parents. if it is an immature "adult", well they should pay too. and if you worry about what your mother would think about making them pay for the 20k they put on your name, shouldn't that mother think even worse of the child who spent that 20k that wasn't theres?
either way, the post several posts above that said you didn't sign for the card, or order it, or in any way even see the piece of mail means you don't owe a dime to anyone and it shouldn't have any negative effects on you at all.
You are correct I do not owe a dime. However, the only way to dispute it is to say that I did not make the charges and the next step would be that I have to file a police report. There is enough evidence to prove who did it so that would mean that they would face what ever charges - grand theft, identity theft, and mail fraud involves.
In the first place they do not have the money to pay it back. So doing this will not help me I know I wouldnt have to pay it back at that point so in a way it would but... I know they did not do this to hurt me they were in a bad place and most of the charges were medical. I don't feel I would gain anything by f'n up their life any more than it currently is. (I am not making excuses for them or what they did, btw) I truely believe they are sorry for what they did, but trust me they no longer have access to my house nor do I trust them farther than I can throw them!
I talked the CC company down to 12,000 and promptly went to the bank and got a small loan and paid the CC off. So for awhile I am stuck with a $300 a month payment and a sinking feeling everytime I see the person that f'd me!