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Topic : 07/19 Identity Theft

Number of Replies: 99
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Created on : Friday, April 13, 2007, 03:11:19 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/17) Having a stranger steal from you is bad enough, but what happens when your own flesh and blood does it? Ricky and Ray say their brother, Robin, has been stealing their identities for years. Robin has used his older sibling’s ID to open lines of credit, rent a mobile home, and he even attempted to buy a Harley! Worst of all, they say Robin used their names when he was arrested, causing warrants to be issued for them. The problem is so out of control that Ricky’s fiancée, Robyn, is worried about taking his last name after the wedding, for fear of being mistaken for Robin. The brothers want to confront their younger sibling but haven't been able to locate him. With Dr. Phil's help, the confrontation finally takes place. This is a showdown you don’t want to miss! Plus, identity theft can happen anywhere … even at your job. Dr. Phil wants to see just how easily this fraud occurs, so staff members do a little snooping around the Dr. Phil offices at night to see what personal information they can find. You won’t believe what they dig up! Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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April 17, 2007, 6:48 pm CDT

ATTENTION DR PHIL - URGENT

You can shred personal documents, keep rogue family members out of your home, co-workers out of your desk and even thieves out of your mailbox - but it could still happen to you since one of the biggest 'leaks' may be your own county and state offices.

 

As a paralegal I was becoming deeply concerned with land records going online in full image, and with the help and advice of a friend in Texas began an organization that warns Americans of this danger.  We've checked records for thousands of people and it's fair to say that most of them were shocked.  There is never a fee for our service.

 

Watching brother Robin tonight I couldn't help but wonder if he was telling the truth about not using one of the brother's identities (though I suspect he is guilty), since the man's personal information could have just as easily have been obtained by the click of a personal computer on a land registry website. 

 

Just last month in Texas state Attorney General Greg Abbott admirably pulled the land records offline in order to protect his citizens from this kind of abuse.  But after a Texas-size hissy fit by title companies and clerks there, he was defeated and the result was a bill passed in record time saying that if the clerks were held responsible for leaking social security numbers online then fine, they were no longer deemed "confidential information".   No, I'm not making this up.  You can google the bill by entering HB2061 and read it for yourself.  Within a month, it was announced that the governor has a super-database accessible only through his office.  Texas Rep. Richard Raymond has now called for an investigation of the governor's super-database as an abuse of privacy.  If it can happen in Texas, it can happen to you.

 

Ohio recently pulled their UCC website down when threatened with lawsuit due to thousands of social security numbers revealed online.  North Carolina employed over 30 temp workers to begin removing theirs.  Other states are following suit but unfortunately it's too little, too late.  This may be news to you but it's provided a good living for crooks all over the world for years - as well as information to terrorists, whose manuals states that 80% of the information needed could be found online in America. 

 

Are you aware that school bus routes are online?  Highway, utility, water, gas lines, maps?  Entire neighborhoods?  Most every document you have ever filed with your county land office?  Did you realize your signature can be cut and pasted onto a new document and your home can actually be 'stolen' ?  It may be "convenient" for the local clerks and land registries to utilize the Internet, but that convenience is too high a price to pay by innocent American citizens.

 

Dr Phil and Staff, I implore you to look into this for the sake of all Americans.  You are welcome to our records, full access, at any time.  My contact information is within my profile and I am available at your convenience.  In the meantime, we still check records for anyone, anywhere, and still free of charge.

 
April 17, 2007, 7:18 pm CDT

Yikes!

Quote From: kjc100

My mother, or the "ruthless criminal sociopath" as I now call her, pulled the same kind of crap on me in my late teens, circa 1986. When I turned 18 I got my very first credit card, a Zellers store card with a $500 limit. I'd used it just once in 3 months to purchase a $10 T-shirt, then my mother asked to borrow it to buy some $30 curtains. I signed and dated a hand written note to explain to the cashier that the person presenting the card had my permission to use it for this one and only purchase. I was pretty naive and trusting, and I thought everything would be OK. Then, 3 weeks later, I got a $1,600 credit card bill in the mail. Apparently, my mother had found it so easy to slap my card down for the curtains that she decided to go on a spending spree, forging my name for numerous purchases (i.e. clothes, shoes, a blender, an iron, a toaster, gifts for her boyfriend). The folks at Zellers didn't seem to notice or care that the card had skyrocketed well past its limit in a matter of days, and didn't contact me about the abnormal shopping blitz on an otherwise restrained record of shopping purchases. As soon as I got the bill I demanded my card back from my mother and told her she had to pay it off. She just laughed at me and told me that if I was stupid enough to trust her then my "punishment" would be to pay it off myself, before the credit bureau destroyed my otherwise flawless credit rating. I called Zellers and they told me that the only way to erase the debt would be to register a formal complaint that the card had been stolen, meaning the police would arrest my mother for fraud, identity theft, forgery etc.. Despite what she'd done, I loved my mother, and she already had a record as a convicted child predator (long story) so, reporting her would have irreparably torn my family apart. So, I had to quit college and take on two other part-time jobs (3 in total) to pay it off as quickly as possible, before my credit was ruined. Again, gullible and trusting as I was, I gave my mother about $200 per month in cash to go down to Zellers once a month and pay down the bill. I thought that would be better than sending a cheque in the mail -- I didn't even have a chequing account at the time. Then, about 8 months later, I got an angry phone call from the Zellers credit office asking why I'd only given them $200 of the now $1,800 I owed them (interest, services fees). I was absolutely stunned -- and horrified -- that I'd been duped once again by my mother who, by the way, started laughing when she overheard me on the phone with the person from the credit office as I tried to explain the situation.

 

I've known all my life that my mother was a skilled grifter, con-artist and shoplifter, but never in a million years did I ever think she'd make me one of her most profitable "marks". I moved out of the house a few weeks after I got that last call from the Zellers credit office and I've only spoken to my mother maybe five times since about 1989. Frankly, I wish she was dead.

 

KJC

 

My heart goes out to you - i empathize but please please never say   "i wish she was dead"   I know that you are rightfuylly so pissed off with her for what she has done to you.  But she is your mother and it saddens me that you "wish she was dead" regardless of what she did.   I am not condoning identity theft or the stuff that she has done  - no...it is not right and since you indicate that you have spoken to your mother only five times since '89 (that is 18 years!)  and i understand that 'making up and forgiving' is most likely out of the question.   But what happens down the road when it is her time to die or she dies in a freak accident.  Will you feel bad that you haven't  mended things with her?           

 

I'm not telling you what to do - but maybe it's time to break the ice and for lack of a better word forgive.   Never forget what she had done, but just in your heart forgive, because you may regret it down the road..... just a thought.....

 
April 17, 2007, 7:49 pm CDT

Identity theft insurance

I believe it was Ray who said that he had purchased identity theft insurance.  My daughter and son-in-law had their checking account, credit cards and even the retirement that is matched by his employer completely whipped out 2 weeks ago.  I have always thought no one would bother with us, we don't have a lot of money in our accounts.  My daughter has VERY little and this has really devastated them emotionally and financially.  So, I have been looking into identity theft insurance, although I don't know of anyone who has ever had or used it.  Is it worth the money?  Does it really help?  How can I find the best insurance? Anyone who has used it, how are you financially now?  Is identity theft insurance anther money scam? Any information I can get would be greatly appreciated.
 
April 17, 2007, 8:30 pm CDT

ID Theft Insurance?

Quote From: nathalee192

I believe it was Ray who said that he had purchased identity theft insurance.  My daughter and son-in-law had their checking account, credit cards and even the retirement that is matched by his employer completely whipped out 2 weeks ago.  I have always thought no one would bother with us, we don't have a lot of money in our accounts.  My daughter has VERY little and this has really devastated them emotionally and financially.  So, I have been looking into identity theft insurance, although I don't know of anyone who has ever had or used it.  Is it worth the money?  Does it really help?  How can I find the best insurance? Anyone who has used it, how are you financially now?  Is identity theft insurance anther money scam? Any information I can get would be greatly appreciated.

A company called LIFELOCK is the only one I'd trust (no, I don't work for them).

 

Take a look at their website, where the company owner lists his own ssn right over his photo. 

 

You may have his number, but it's worthless to thieves now that its registered with his company.  (Sort of like having a movie star's phone number -- but no phone service)

 

 

 
April 17, 2007, 8:31 pm CDT

Identity theft

To tell the truth, I don't know how you really can prevent identity theft. Credit card numbers are seen by anyone you give your card to in payment and your name is there too. Credit card companies keep sending me applications (preapproved) they say, so since my name and address are on the envelope, someone else could apply. I guess there is the problem of it going to my address instead of the person who applies in my name, but he could say he has changed his address.

 

On one of my credit cards there  is my photograph. That would be effective if I lost the card , but if someone finds it and then decides to use it over the phone or the internet, I don't think that could be prevented.

I do find it horrible that your own brother could do that to you.

 

mitzisweets

 
April 17, 2007, 8:34 pm CDT

04/17 Identity Theft

Quote From: starlett

My heart goes out to you - i empathize but please please never say   "i wish she was dead"   I know that you are rightfuylly so pissed off with her for what she has done to you.  But she is your mother and it saddens me that you "wish she was dead" regardless of what she did.   I am not condoning identity theft or the stuff that she has done  - no...it is not right and since you indicate that you have spoken to your mother only five times since '89 (that is 18 years!)  and i understand that 'making up and forgiving' is most likely out of the question.   But what happens down the road when it is her time to die or she dies in a freak accident.  Will you feel bad that you haven't  mended things with her?           

 

I'm not telling you what to do - but maybe it's time to break the ice and for lack of a better word forgive.   Never forget what she had done, but just in your heart forgive, because you may regret it down the road..... just a thought.....

 

No, I guarantee I won't feel bad or guilty when she dies, which I hope will be very, very soon. In addition to the identity theft, she's done so many more heinous things to me and other people who made the mistake of trusting and believing in her. After having read other posts here on the Dr. Phil message board about this topic, I can take solice in knowing that my mother's crimes are not unique.

 
April 17, 2007, 10:35 pm CDT

identity theft

I understand what those brothers have gone thru--my sister stole  not only my inheritance but also the inheritance of her neice-and my children.  I believe these kinds of people are so empowered by their being alive that no one else counts.  I saw this today--He has no care for anyone but himself and self empowers to cheat, steal, and generally make everyone else miserable.  I have not been in contact with my sister since 97--when my husband of 32 years was dying and she expected me to leave him to look after our dying Mother. I think--kick them to the curb. There is a flaw in these people-they have no empathy.  When both my Mother and my husband was were dying--she said "well, she never loved him, anyway"
 
April 18, 2007, 6:26 am CDT

04/17 Identity Theft

I have to say listening to that character Robin, would've been funny if what he did wasn't so serious.

Ricky stood up to him, Ricky wasn't scared to tell him the facts of life or call him on his crimes, so Robin had to try to deflect it back on Ricky "he's a compulsive liar " hmmm, seems like the pot calling the kettle black to me.  So Robin won't admit anything he's done to Ricky, because Ricky won't treat him with the respect and deference he think's he's due.

But he would admit to Ray because Ray toed the line, and as a reward now Robin feels his brother is going to behave himself, so he'll admit wrongdoing.  There was NOTHING sincere about him at all, or maybe he thought he had nothing to lose by admitting it, because he could just up and run again, I wonder if he ever did show up to court.

To Ricky's fiance I would say KEEP your last name, even if it's only on your official documents, passport, credit cards etc., it might just be me, but I would even be leary of holding any joint accounts with Ricky, not that he did anything wrong, He was the VICTIM here I get that, but does that mean she should risk losing everything she worked for, NO.

Ray was trying to protect his family, he said himself he was scared for his wife because of Robin's nature, so it would be easier for Ricky to play hardball, but I hope the two of them now will stand together and put that slime where he belongs.

I have to ask though, what kind of decent, self respecting woman would get involved with that loser ?

 
April 18, 2007, 7:58 am CDT

Thanks

Quote From: flthomcat

Just don't go overboard with appreciation and buy your wife a bigger and better shredder for Christmas!!!  I still haven't let handsome, sweet hubby live down the first dating gift he ever gave me after we were first engaged....a metal card table with no chairs!

 

When his mother learned that he was buying me a metal gum ball machine (one month later) for Christmas, she stepped in and took him shopping!!! I ended up with the gum ball machine and my favorite....an antique, handcut, crystal wine glass set!

 

As the saying goes, 'Mother Knows Best." Also might want to consider the tried and true one..."When Mama (the wife) ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

That was a very nice as well as funny message.  I do know how to shop for my wife (I think).  I just bought her a ring of smoky quartz, fire opal, diamond and gold.  You could say she was happy.  Seriously, shopping for her is so much fun.  Especially since she never asks for anything.  The ring was "just because".  Thank you so much.
 
April 18, 2007, 9:42 am CDT

04/17 Identity Theft

Quote From: nathalee192

I believe it was Ray who said that he had purchased identity theft insurance.  My daughter and son-in-law had their checking account, credit cards and even the retirement that is matched by his employer completely whipped out 2 weeks ago.  I have always thought no one would bother with us, we don't have a lot of money in our accounts.  My daughter has VERY little and this has really devastated them emotionally and financially.  So, I have been looking into identity theft insurance, although I don't know of anyone who has ever had or used it.  Is it worth the money?  Does it really help?  How can I find the best insurance? Anyone who has used it, how are you financially now?  Is identity theft insurance anther money scam? Any information I can get would be greatly appreciated.
I have the same Identity Theft insurance that Ray has.  I was surprised when he said it.  It's been working for me for four years now.  I can empathize with what your daughter and son-in-law are going through.  My husband's personal information was stolen.  Our representative told us exactly what to do, sent out bulletins to all of the credit bureaus, and was ready to put a licensed fraud investigator on our case to reverse the damage, if in fact, any fraud would be committed.  I don't think ID Theft can ever be totally prevented, but the impact can be greatly lessened and the reversal can be quicker and cleaner with the right help.  
 
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