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Topic : 03/05 Identity Theft, Part 2

Number of Replies: 60
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Created on : Friday, February 29, 2008, 01:18:06 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Each year, millions of Americans have their identities stolen, but what happens when your own flesh and blood rips you off? John and Tom haven’t seen or spoken to each other in five years because John says his brother used his name when he was stopped for a traffic violation. John wants his sibling to confess to his crime, but is Tom willing to come clean? Find out why their sister, Joanne, says Tom’s problems run a lot deeper than he admits. Then, Mattie has been recovering from the financial devastation of identity theft for over 16 years, and she says the culprit is none other than her mom!  When Mattie was 6, she says her mother opened multiple accounts in her name. Then she racked up so much debt, Mattie says she had to file for bankruptcy at 21! Mattie’s grandmother, Barbara, says that although she knew about the fraud, she just couldn’t bring herself to call the police on her own daughter. Now Mattie is 23 and says she recently had to file charges against her mom because she's still receiving bills that don't belong to her. How can Mattie protect herself from future fraud, and how does she heal the pain she says her mom caused by stealing her identity? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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March 8, 2008, 11:22 am CST

Identity theft, part 2

Quote From: hpmx59

Doctor Indentity Part Phil Theft Two. What happen on Indentity One Part Theft? I donot remember that one--

at all. See you on Wednesday March 05th, 2008. Sincerley Your Russell Vlaannderen.----------------------------

Part one aired  a couple months after the taping, approx. Feb or March of this year.  It was about three brothers, Terry I believe whom stole the identity of one of the others identity.  We taped ours (John and Tom) the same day as the three brothers-  I was nervous that Dr.Phil might send that guy to rehab instead of my brother, if anyone at all, and let me tell you I was so blessed to see Dr.Phil come up and sit in front of my brother and offer rehab to him.   I was thinking those other brothers from part 1 were probably bummed, but I think Dr.Phil sent the right man; my brother was apologetic and willing, and I think the part 1 guy was still in denial and angry and not willing to admit his wrong.    I don't know why it took a year for ours to air, but that's ok.  I thought it hit the cutting room floor until now!  
 
March 9, 2008, 8:32 am CDT

Mattie

While watching Mattie up on stage with Dr. Phil my heart just went out to her!  I cannot imagine having my mother do what her mother did.  It seemed clear that she was at a loss to resolve the problem. She seemed to not really have a clue on what to do, how to undo what her mother did, or how to repair the damage done to her and her credit.  I truely hope Dr. Phil was able to connect her with locals in her area to help her repair all of the damage done.  In my opinion Mattie is much more deserving of a new car or $20,000 than ANYONE in the Dr. Phil house, rules of engagement!!!   Those people just don't get it!  Life is too short for all of that drama! There are people everywhere with real problems, that need real help!!  Here's a rule for engagement DON'T MARRY SOMEONE WHO MAKES YOU MISERABLE!!!
 
March 9, 2008, 10:08 am CDT

Help Yourself Please

Quote From: joyfuljo

Hi everyone, I am Joanne, the sister  of Tom and John. I just  wanted to say thanks to those who offered  the support and well wishes, and I also want to clarify  something about Tom's quesion of "how long" will the treatment at La Hacienda be.

Tom was concerned about how long the treatment would be because he was concerned it wouldn't be ENOUGH TIME.   That conversation was taped but not put on the air.  Tom was a nervous wreck after the show because he was afraid it wouldn't be good enough treatment.   La Hacienda was a fantastic place for Tom to go, and Dr.Phil was amazing enough to send not only Tom for the month, but also his daughter,  myself, John and our father there during "Family Week" where we got to learn about alcoholism / addiction and meet the staff, he paid for our stay and our flight there and back.  Absolutely a giving man DrPhil is.  I am eternally grateful.   Although 30 days didn't feel like enough time for Tom, and he was scared to leave,  he did stay sober for a while and went thru some amazing issues and then slipped again. He is always starting over and will have a lifetime of struggle I believe.

Anyone with myspace can find me on myspace.com /degarimore

God bless.
Joanne

Hi Joanne-thank you for your update on Tom.  Unfortunatley, I think most viewers wont be surprised that Tom had a relapse.  I hope that you and your family are attending Al-Anon meetings regularly, because you need this for you.  I have been there and this 12 step program gave me back MY life and sanity, when I was married to an alcholic.  You & John need to take care of yourselves and detach from Tom's disease. 

You will be in my prayers.

 
March 11, 2008, 4:17 am CDT

Have had Theft going on forever..

Hi,

  I have had  Identity theft going on in my life for yrs. I  don't know the lady,but she keeps useing my cridit.I thought I got it taken care of yrs ago.I just did a credit  report and found out that she is at it again. I am so tiered of this.She manages to reck my credit.What has happend is this. When I was  13 I got my SS#.   I am not sure when she got her's  ,but they gave her the same  number.Her maiden name is the same as mine and our  birthdays are the same except by one yr. She got a new SS#, but they never changed mine. So Now I see again that she is on my credit   report and  am lost on what to do .My Heart  go's out to those on the show.  I  know what it's like to have your life a mess by others. Well they just go on  living there happy life's.
 
March 11, 2008, 11:02 am CDT

How to watch out for your grandchildren under 18

When I watched this show I was dumbfounded.  This young woman could pass for my granddaughter.  I had to take a second look to be sure it wasn't her.  I have been concerned for sometime now about my daughter doing this to one of her 4 children.  After the show I got on-line and tried to check the credit history of all 4 of them, stopping at my oldest.  Since they are all under the age of 18, I keep hitting a roadblock.  I called the 800# for Equifax but none of the options pertained to my search and was unable to speak to an operator.  Can anyone tell me what to do next ?  I have their social security numbers since I have a separate savings account for each from birth.  Their mother is not listed on any of the accounts.  I'm very concerned that they might already have become victim's.  Can anyone help ??

 

Worried grandmother

 
March 11, 2008, 2:36 pm CDT

credit card companies

 I wonder why credit card companies, who require so little identification before "approving" loans, are NOT HELD RESPONSIBLE/ACCOUNTABLE for identity theft and related troubles which I believe come about from their own LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY.  Banks do not give out loans to people who do not provide the appropriate identification which also needs to be verified.   Banks are not scamming people and do not allow themselves to be scammed. Peoples lives are not ruined by banks giving out loans/credit;  there is no identity theft and ensuing difficulties, lawsuits, credit scores ruined, unnecessary hardships put upon unsuspecting people.

I believe that the credit card companies who allow strangers with very little identification, especially which the companies DO NOT VERIFY AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, should hold the initial responsibility of verifying the identity of the person applying for the credit, instead of the other way around.

How did life get this way, where the victims have to be responsible to the LAX and LAZY credit card companies, and then to re establish their lives, credit, etc. I want to know why the credit card companies are not being held accountable for their lack of discretion. They created the situation which is easily manipulated by theives and low life's, and then hold the responsibility over the victim. THIS IS SO WRONG and people should PLACE THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS. That is my belief.

Credit Card Companies need to make amends to the victims, since they are the initiators of the crime.

 
March 13, 2008, 1:57 pm CDT

Question for Joyfuljo

 Dear JoAnne:  I am sorry for all your heartache.  I have gone through something similar with my husband's sister (she doesn't drink, but involved my name in fraud) .  It seems like a lot of negative issues being put into your life and marriage by a third party.  Personnaly, I want nothing to do with my SIL, and I also resent that fact that she has brought negativity to our lives.  My husband wants to maintain a minimal relationship so as not to jeopardize all the neices and nephews relationship with our children (they have no clue what has happened), but I'm not one to play "happy family" (I already have one : ) thank you.   I was brought up to know that you don't do stuff like that to people, especially your family.  My question is how your spouses or partners feel about your wayward brother?  Are you and your spouse on the same page or have a difference of opinion regarding dealing with your brother?  Do you have kids and have you been able to keep them uninvolved?  I'm sorry for all the questions, but we have not come to terms on this.  My husband and I both know how the other feels, but don't quite understand how we can feel that way.  We have agreed to disagree and really don't talk about her.  We haven't she her in awhile (hope it stays that way), but that may change the end of this year.  We'll see how it goes.  Thank you for your time and consideration. 
 
March 13, 2008, 2:02 pm CDT

Just some simple facts for you..

Quote From: gwarrior6

 

It's scary when you think someone has your SSN and Birth date.  I went online to check my student loan information, but there was a different address in the profile.  It freaked me out!  I called the company and they told me the date it was changed (luckily it was from a time when I contacted them to send me info, and they messed up) so I changed it. 

 

Just to be sure, I got on the Experian site and viewed my credit report (which they say you should do about once a year (you get a free one once a year)).  Also, it's a good idea to print it out (because looking at it decreases your score), and if anything looks wrong,you can contest it.  There was NOTHING out of the ordinary, but to be careful, I put a ID theft alert  on it (it only lasts so long, but it's worth it).   Nothing happened, but being proactive about it can save your credit. 

 

Here is Experian's site on Fraud Prevention and how to report it:

 

http://www.experian.com/identity_fraud/fraud_prevention.html

 

Here's the Federal Trade Commission's site on Preventing ID Theft:

 

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/

 

Check it out!

I have several years employment history in the fields or credit reporting and the extension of credit. One thing I do know is that there are many myths out there about how credit works today! I'd like to address a few of the issues that were brought up on the show as well as one or two of yours.

First of all, getting a persons private information is so much easier than most people think. Its out there and its easily available so the best thing you can do is to monitor your own credit report frequently (quarterly as recommended on the show) to determine what is what and dispute those items that are inaccurate.

-Viewing your credit, ...does NOT decrease your score!
-Having insurance companies review your credit, does NOT decrease your score.
      These are known as soft inquiries and are allowed for the purpose of viewing your history only without affecting your score at all,..not for the purpose of evaluating your credit for new credit extension which may affect your scores.
-It is a good idea to print it out, but be sure to file it securely and shred the document after youre finished with it,..or save it electronically in a secure file.
-ID Theft Alerts (or Fraud Alerts, as theyre more commonly known in the industry) are a good idea for protection, however they can also have an adverse effect on how  youre viewed by creditors as well. Example: Companies that extend credit (auto/personal/mortgage loans, credit cards, etc) evaluate your ability to pay back the credit youre applying for, based on your past payment history and risk factor. If you have a Fraud Alert placed on your credit report, that tells them that most likely you've had issues with credit fraud (risk) in the past, (whether its your fault or not ,doesnt matter) which may have resulted in creditors not being paid or 'charged off' possibly(risk). No creditor wants to risk falling into that category so they will automatically look at your Fraud Alert as a negative!

  The links you've provided are very helpful links and if there is one thing I could suggest to anyone, it would be to constantly and continuously monitor your credit report.
 
March 13, 2008, 2:21 pm CDT

I hope this doesnt sound terrible, but...

Quote From: rose789

 I wonder why credit card companies, who require so little identification before "approving" loans, are NOT HELD RESPONSIBLE/ACCOUNTABLE for identity theft and related troubles which I believe come about from their own LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY.  Banks do not give out loans to people who do not provide the appropriate identification which also needs to be verified.   Banks are not scamming people and do not allow themselves to be scammed. Peoples lives are not ruined by banks giving out loans/credit;  there is no identity theft and ensuing difficulties, lawsuits, credit scores ruined, unnecessary hardships put upon unsuspecting people.

I believe that the credit card companies who allow strangers with very little identification, especially which the companies DO NOT VERIFY AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, should hold the initial responsibility of verifying the identity of the person applying for the credit, instead of the other way around.

How did life get this way, where the victims have to be responsible to the LAX and LAZY credit card companies, and then to re establish their lives, credit, etc. I want to know why the credit card companies are not being held accountable for their lack of discretion. They created the situation which is easily manipulated by theives and low life's, and then hold the responsibility over the victim. THIS IS SO WRONG and people should PLACE THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS. That is my belief.

Credit Card Companies need to make amends to the victims, since they are the initiators of the crime.

   Credit reporting companies are not (nor should they be held) responsible for an individual's credit history. They have specific rules and guidelines which the government requires them to go by for verification of identity and levels of responsibility which they do take seriously. Short of going to each and every single persons home, meeting them face to face and confirming that they are the person who applied, they are doing what is required of them. Imagine if the DID do that, how long it would take for you to get approved when you really did apply and need the credit or loan immediately!
   Besides..would you really want someone else (credit reporting agency employee) to have that much access & control over your personal information anyway? Keep in mind that credit reporting agencies just like all companies have people...actual human beings, that work for them. These are just people like anyone else, who can take your personal information just as well as the guy going thru your trash to find your receipts,..but its even easier for them in fact because they have a lot more information on you that  you've provided. Now, also keep in mind that most reputable companies have systems in place to protect your information, but I'm simply trying to illustrate the point that it's your responsibility to monitor and maintain your credit history.
   Try to look at this from an objective perspective and dont blame the credit companies. It's the people, the criminals and theives that abuse and cheat the system that have made this as bad as it is for many people. Most of these credit companies are willing to lend people money or give credit with no security and based just on the persons good name and payment histrory! Thats a good thing!
  How many people do you know personally, that would give you even just $1000 to use for whatever you wanted asking nothing in return from you, but your promise to repay it...with interest of course? I'll bet not too many!
 
March 13, 2008, 3:45 pm CDT

Where do I go next

Quote From: jimo2956

I have several years employment history in the fields or credit reporting and the extension of credit. One thing I do know is that there are many myths out there about how credit works today! I'd like to address a few of the issues that were brought up on the show as well as one or two of yours.

First of all, getting a persons private information is so much easier than most people think. Its out there and its easily available so the best thing you can do is to monitor your own credit report frequently (quarterly as recommended on the show) to determine what is what and dispute those items that are inaccurate.

-Viewing your credit, ...does NOT decrease your score!
-Having insurance companies review your credit, does NOT decrease your score.
      These are known as soft inquiries and are allowed for the purpose of viewing your history only without affecting your score at all,..not for the purpose of evaluating your credit for new credit extension which may affect your scores.
-It is a good idea to print it out, but be sure to file it securely and shred the document after youre finished with it,..or save it electronically in a secure file.
-ID Theft Alerts (or Fraud Alerts, as theyre more commonly known in the industry) are a good idea for protection, however they can also have an adverse effect on how  youre viewed by creditors as well. Example: Companies that extend credit (auto/personal/mortgage loans, credit cards, etc) evaluate your ability to pay back the credit youre applying for, based on your past payment history and risk factor. If you have a Fraud Alert placed on your credit report, that tells them that most likely you've had issues with credit fraud (risk) in the past, (whether its your fault or not ,doesnt matter) which may have resulted in creditors not being paid or 'charged off' possibly(risk). No creditor wants to risk falling into that category so they will automatically look at your Fraud Alert as a negative!

  The links you've provided are very helpful links and if there is one thing I could suggest to anyone, it would be to constantly and continuously monitor your credit report.
So how would you suggest looking out for children under the age of 18 with a mother like the young woman on the show ?  I did try to check the credit history of 4 of my grandchildren, starting at my oldest.  Since they are all under the age of 18, I keep hitting a roadblock.  I called the 800# for Equifax but none of the options pertained to my search and was unable to speak to an operator.
 
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