If you think identity theft isn't a very big deal and probably won't happen to you, then you need to read this collection of ID theft horror stories. The victims are regular people whose lives have been destroyed by identity thieves. Read their stories with an eye toward avoiding similar mistakes and safeguarding your own reputation?
1. Adam Josephson
Adam sat at his desk, CEO of a new Internet start-up that had just recently turned a profit when the phone call came in. Life was great and Adam was full of life, until he picked up the receiver. The voice on the other end was none other than that of his bank's fraud analyst. Adam's head hit his oak desk in tears as he was told that all he had worked for had been ripped from his hands by fraudsters. His bank account was drained to the tune of $125,000 and his corporate account was liquidated of $500,000. Worse yet were the several credit cards the fraudsters opened in his name, and the countless, expensive charges made on them. As you can probably guess, this was not an easy matter to clean up. Adam spent months arguing with creditors, banks and the social security to regain his identity and rid him of the bills that now lay in his lap. Sources do not reveal how this matter was resolved.
2. Paula Sampson
As if Ms. Sampson wasn't going through enough hardship with her divorce, apparently an identity thief decided she needed even more to deal with. Upon applying for a mortgage on a new home, Ms. Sampson was asked by the loan officer how she was enjoying her new car. "I drove a ten year old Honda!" cried Sampson as she was informed that someone acquired a $50,000 dollar loan in her name to purchase a new Audi. As if that weren't bad enough, she was also informed that her credit report revealed several hundred applications for credit cards in her name. Many were approved, some exceeding $40,000 in credit. Needless to say, these cards were immediately maxed out. It was clear that Ms. Sampson was an identity fraud victim and something had to be done.The perpetrator was eventually found and arrested, however the responsibility of thousands of hours on the phone with hundreds of creditors was still hers.
3. Sandy Cox
Quite possibly the most shocking and heartbreaking tale of identity theft ever told. In 2001, Ms. Cox had her identity stolen and was reduced from earning a mid six figure income with retirement all saved for to living on 1000 dollars a month social security with no money in the bank at all. The thieves purchased automobiles, jewelry, designer wardrobes, exquisite foods, drained her savings, checking and IRA accounts, leaving her with nothing. She lost two businesses and her house. She ended up having to sell her car, jewelry and anything of value she owned to survive. Ms. Cox can now receive no credit and had to go through the embarrassing experience of having her ex husband co-sign her loan for a used car. Her story is truly a testament to the damage ID theft can inflict.
4. Ken Cheer
Just about a month ago Ken Cheer went to check his band account when he was surprised to find a charge for $150.00 on his account marked as a legal fee. Obviously confused, Mr. Cheer decided to call the bank and ask what was up. The bank informed him that his accounts were all frozen and to call a certain legal firm for more details. Upon calling the legal firm it was disclosed to him that it appeared that he had purchased an extremely expensive brand new Tractor Trailer! Ken attempted to argue with the firm, claiming that he didn't own a tractor trailer, didn't know how to drive one, etc. In the long run, it turned out that the culprit was his own father, whom he is a Jr. of. This technicality made it quite easy for his father to steal his identity and make such a large purchase, and has made it harder than pulling teeth to get the matter resolved!
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