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Author Topic: Should I be flattered?  (Read 426 times)
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Ironrod
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« on: February 25, 2014, 03:55:32 AM »

Somebody stole my identity! I'm not even that fond of it myself.

A collection agency called about the $700 that someone with my name and SSN owes Comcast for service at an address about five miles from my house. I don't live there and have never had a Comcast account. They suggested that I explain that to Comcast. Who then suggested that I explain it to my local constabulary. Who then suggested that I pull my credit report to make sure this isn't an elaborate scam.

Turns out that other-me last paid Comcast $700 last August. Comcast turned the account over for collection when it reached $700 again last month. It has since crept up to $920, plus the value of unreturned equipment. WTF Comcast? Don't you ever terminate service for nonpayment?

So other-me has apparently had my SSN for a year now, yet my credit reports show that he only ever used it to steal cable. WTF other-me? Was that really the best you could think of? It just hit my credit report at the beginning of this month when the collection agency started calling. (They had my wife's phone number, not mine. She didn't answer their calls for a couple of weeks and they never left a message.)

Now a detective will supposedly work with Comcast's fraud department, who will supposedly call off the collection dogs when they see law enforcement on the case. Yeah, right, that's going to happen. I predict a lot of followup phone calls in my near future.

I'm good about online security but obviously not good enough at sanitizing my trash. Given other-me's proximity, he must have gotten my SSN out of the trash. I usually tear up or shred sensitive documents, but not always. What are the chances that someone would find the rare unshredded financial doc in the thousands of pieces of paper that I throw away in a year? Yet somebody beat those odds.

Speaking of odds, what do you suppose are the chances that the coppers will nail other-me? I'd guess that he is no longer at the deadbeat address. Do they ever clear identity theft cases?
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rshetts2
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 01:11:28 PM »

Criminals are for the most part, stupid.  If hes still racking up cable bills at that address, then hes likely still there or someone who knows him is.
 An example of how stupid your common criminal can be?  I used to manage a pizza delivery place.  We sent out a driver to an address, that turned out to be fake and he was robbed for the pizza and his money.  We immediately called the police and after checking out the order the idiot placed, they traced back the phone number he used to place the order.  It was a land line at an address about a block away from where the robbery occurred.  The police went to that address and there was the fool eating the pizza with the drivers money bag sitting in plain sight on the table.  Yep, he used his own home phone number to call in the order.  Brilliant!
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 02:45:36 PM »

I pay $2.75 (it's usually 5.50) to Experian through USAA for a credit watch. Do you have something like this? If you didn't, would something like this have helped, or wouldn't it have shown until the damage as done? Probably not I would guess, but the watch makes me feel better about it. (Knock on wood.)

Outside of a couple of random charges that never cleared, I have no experience with this. Please update this thread if you find anything out.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 04:48:39 PM »

Quote from: Lee on February 25, 2014, 02:45:36 PM

I pay $2.75 (it's usually 5.50) to Experian through USAA for a credit watch. Do you have something like this? If you didn't, would something like this have helped, or wouldn't it have shown until the damage as done? Probably not I would guess, but the watch makes me feel better about it. (Knock on wood.)

The fraud didn't hit my credit report until Comcast turned it over for collection. I would have found out about it a couple of weeks earlier, but that wouldn't have made any difference.

I don't know what will happen next. I'm going to just wait a few days for the wheels to grind before I place some followup calls.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 07:28:01 PM »

The detective called today. Never thought I'd be glad to type those words but there they are.

The police want to get the phone # under which the account was opened from Comcast. Then they'll see if it belongs to any of the usual suspects. He gave me his contact info to share with Comcast, but their collections department wasn't interested. They are mailing me a complaint form which, when returned with a copy of the police report, will absolve me from any further involvement and restore my credit record. Meanwhile they referred me to their Legal Response Ctr. I passed that number along to the detective because Comcast has some bounced checks that might be of interest.

Neither the police nor comcast typically take the lead in talking to each other; any communication between them will probably have to go through me.

The detective said they very rarely clear these cases because there's seldom an unbroken electronic trail. Mostly they try to identify the perp and throw a scare into him. Their main objective is to prevent any further losses to me.

All he's done so far is verify that nobody with my name lives at that apartment.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 02:38:56 PM »

Just for the sake of completion: Comcast sent me a 2-page claim form that I filled out and faxed to them yesterday with a copy of my drivers license, a utility bill to prove my real address, and a copy of the police incident report. That should be the end of this.

We'll see.
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