Monday, July 19, 2010

To discuss mistaken identity, and by mistaken, I mean stolen

I bought a watch in February.

It's a Rolex, it's got diamonds, and it's worth about $550.


So am I. I've never seen it or wore it.

On a related note, this blog will now be written by the Andy Shaw who bought that watch.

I can't wait to meet him. Or her, really. It could be anyone, but it sure wasn't me who went to a department store in Florida (!?!?!) and bought a diamond watch with a credit card under my name using my Social Security number.

At least, that's what I found out when the credit card company called on Friday demanding $135 immediately for the past-due bill that hadn't been paid in months and had racked up hundreds of dollars in late fees. I'm very good about keeping up with bills, so that was a surprise to me.

It was even more of a surprise when I learned the credit card was for a department store I never shop at. And even more so when the card was listed for a person by my name but with a wrong birth date and wrong street address, although it was the right town and right social security number.

Yes, that's right. My identity was stolen like hotel towels.

After quickly doing all the identity theft requisites - getting the account closed, documenting my phone calls, contacting the three major credit rating agencies, sharpening my shiv -I thought about what really angered me.

I had my identity stolen by a complete moron.

Hey, dummy, when you steal someone's identity, don't steal it from someone who is poor. And don't list the victim's cell phone number on the application so that they get called when the bill goes unpaid.

But really, I was upset that they didn't at least try to lease a BMW, buy a hot tub or invest in Google with the fake credit line. A watch? Really? Don't they have a (stolen) cell phone that tells time? Who buys diamond watches these days? Diddy?

I also am worried that they didn't at least get a good deal. Did they shop when it was on sale? I hope they at least shopped around. I'd hate to think my credit got ruined over a full-price item.

So, other than having my credit rating go in the tank the past few months, unknowingly, because of this horribly past due, unpaid bill (which should get resolved eventually), the worst outcome of all this is the hassle of getting everything repaired. Can I sue for lost time?

The problem with identity theft is that you can't change your Social Security number to protect yourself afterward like you can with an online password. It's not like I can tell the bank next time, "Yes, my new Social Security number will now be PRETTYKITTEN123*. Do you need me to spell that?"

* Note: That's not what I changed it to, so don't get any ideas. My new number is now "UNICORNGIGGLE99."

I investigated my redemption options, and the iPad does not have an app for "Seeking revenge on someone who stole your identity and didn't even do a great job by buying something cool, like an iPad."

The lesson here, readers, is to always check your credit reports, to keep your guard up, and to keep a look out for anyone wearing an overpriced, ostentatious wristwatch and then punch that @#%*#%&*@ in the face.


L.C.T. said...

Lame lame lame. That's lame. Enough said.

FunnyGal KAT said...

That stinks! I guess the silver (diamond-encrusted) lining is that the identity thief only bought a watch? I've heard stories of thieves using up thousands of dollars worth of credit. Your thief seems to be a bit more frugal at least. Sorry to hear you're going through this...

The Daring Domesticate said...

I am sorry. That really sucks. I agree they could have bought something cooler like a timeshare where they can lay low for awhile.

Herding Cats said...

That really sucks. My mom had her identity stolen a few years ago, but the person was a little bit smarter about it. They had a license made with my mom's name and address, but with their picture. Thankfully someone at the loan company my "mom" was at checked into it, and a lot of damage was prevented!

Andy said...

The funny thing about all of this is the first thing I thought was, "Man, this will make a great blog post."

P said...

If I see the thief, I will make sure I lamp them.

I had someone break into my paypal account once and somehow drum up 1000 pounds worth of debt, which resulted in a debt collection agency chasing after me. Once I cottoned onto it and got it resolved, they broke into my hotmail and ebay accounts. I'm assuming that was just as some sort of revenge. Morons.

lbluca77 said...

I’ve never had my identity stolen; trust me the joke would be on them if they did. But once someone did make a duplicate of my ATM card. I think it happened after I ordered pizza and you know how they make a carbon copy of the card when you get your Pizza? Well a few weeks later my bank called about a over $500 purchase I had made at Home Depot. Obviously I don’t shop there and obviously if I had I think I would remember spending that much money. But I got my money back so all was good.

Sorry your identity was stolen but you are right it made for a great post.

Amy xxoo said...

What a douchebag. And a Rolex? How very cliche...

Jenners said...

That is almost an insult to have someone so cheesy and stupid steal your identity. And I'm sure it is annoying as all heck to find out about this. I live in fear of this ... which is why we shred everything with our personal information on it. I guess Mr. Jenners isn't so paranoid after all.

Jenn said...

Ah that sucks so much! To be ripped off by an imaginative criminal is almost an insult in and of itself. Jeez, if it were me I would be buying a yacht or something. As a small consolation, I thought your post was funny...PRETTYKITTEN123...hilarious!

kisatrtle said...

Maybe it was Diddy...did you consider that?

Seriously that really sucks. I'm sorry this happened to you.

Metro bank let someone in the UK withdrawl 837.00 from my account leaving me with approximately 2.50.

I thought that was kind of them since I've never been to the UK.

It took awhile but it was resolved. After reading this I'm terrified to check my credit report.

Is there a way to do that for free without having your ID stolen?

James Wilson said...

I giggled when I saw the line about suing for lost time... they bought a watch.

Mindy said...

Next time I visit the FL, I'll be on the lookout.

That bastard.

But, um, I have to ask... He had your cell phone number and social security number? Doesn't that seem bizarre? Cell digits, really?

Sam_I_am said...

After you punch them in the face, take your watch back. They have exboyfriendjewelry.com, maybe they have exidentitythiefjewelry.com!

Nick James said...

Wow. Sorry that happened. You deserve the watch more.

Howard Parnell said...

Are you sure it was a Rolex? I never heard of a $550 Rolex. Maybe it was a Rolex box.

That sucks and I feel for you. Think about an identity theft service with excellent resolution services. I know you've already been victimized but some of these services will scan your credit reports AND public databases DAILY.

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