Monday, October 23, 2006

Victim of Identity Theft?

Recently I posted a couple of stories about a close friend of mine who was the victim of identity theft. Her JP Morgan Chase checking account was raided, and the thief was processing $6000 every-other-day through PayPal.

When she learned of it, she called Chase, who closed her checking account. Then, two weeks later, someone went into four different Chase banks and started withdrawing money from her savings accounts. (You'd think Chase would have had some safeguards in place by then, but they didn't.)

My friend did all the things that you're supposed to do when one becomes a victim of identity theft: notify the bank, the credit bureaus, and file a police report. When she filed the police report with the NYPD, a Detective Ramos said that the perp probably knew her.

When I heard that, I said, "Yeah, right." I didn't believe if for a moment. Well, to make a long story short. My friend's accountant noticed that four of her clients have recently become the victims of identity theft. In one case, the police called her to run a name by her, to see if she recognized it.

"Yes, I fired that person a couple of months ago," the accountant said. The police had come up with a name in one of the cases, and it turned out that the same woman stole the identities of four different women, and was raking in thousands of dollars a week.

Detective Ramos was right on when he said, "It's probably somebody that you know."

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