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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 14, 2008, 10:25 am CDT

03/05 Identity Theft, Part 2

Quote From: notme3

 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. 
 Hi,
I know you've already contacted me on Myspace (degarimore) but I'll respond here also for other readers. I'm sorry to hear about your family issues- I have issues with my in-laws as well, their choices have ruined our relationship but we still have to play happy family and it's not easy.   But my brother Tom is a different story than my in-laws. :-)   I think your husband is taking the high road, which is harder to do but much more honorable.   All those neices and nephews and kids will someday (if at all) know that you and your husband were the better people, by not allowing your SIL's bad choices affect your quality of life.   My spouse- and my brother John's wife (now ex) all love Tom and want him to clean up. It's really all in the name of love, Tom has a heart of gold but has a problem with alcohol, which rules over people's lives and can obviously make you do stupid things.  We love Tom but don't love what he does...  love the sinner, hat the sin.    I recently heard something about resentment that is stuck in my mind , it goes like this: "Resentment is like eating rat poison, and hoping the other person dies".     I have let go of my brothers problems and refuse to let it affect my personal happiness, yet I still am a cheerleader for his sobriety.  Your sister in law is a pretty different issue since there's no apparent drug abuse, but I bet there are some underlying issues as to why she involved your name in fraud.   

Our kids do know what has happened,  the problem is a life lesson for them as I don't know if they carry the alcoholic gene.  Everything can be a life lesson for ourselves or our kids if we present it to them in a respectful manner (easier said than done sometimes). 

I hope you can someday forgive your SIL and release yourself from the hatred, I am in the same situation with my SIL (hurtful words and actions) and sometimes we just need to let go and let God deal with it.  If all we can do is hate and be resentful, we are just feeding ourselves that rat poison and hoping the other person will die....     Be the better man... or in your case, woman.  :-)

Hugs,
J.
 
March 14, 2008, 10:42 am CDT

03/05 Identity Theft, Part 2

Quote From: s24ignatia

Hi all,

It seems in this show and other shows where alcoholism is involved that Dr Phil has difficulty with keeping his personal experiences out of the conversation. By personal I mean separating his attitude/experiences from his pofessional comments. For example in this show Dr Phil commented that Tom did not even have the couretesy to refrain form drinking on the day of the show. As Dr Phil knows, an alcoholic of Tom's status phyisically cannot refrain from drinking without progressing into withdrawl. I totally understand D r Phils anger, I too came from an alcoholic home. I am also a recovering alcoholic, 5 years sober. Displaying some understanding and knowledgeof alcololism on the show may help others in their unfortunate situations. Please don't misunderstand me, I feelTom is wrong in what he has done to his family and himself. But he is also has a tragicdisease. Shaming him in front of millions only lowers the alcoholics already poor self-esteem. And perpetuates the public's mistakenperception that alcoholics can stop on their own and that they have poor self-control.

Just a thought, Debbie

CONGRATULATIONS on being 5 years sober... I have a HUGE respect for those who are conquering addiction, one day at a time.   HUGE respect.   Kudos to you.

After the show (long after), I realized that he probably had to drink in order to function.   Dr.Phil was cool enough to send me and a few family members to 'Family Week' at La Hacienda, and that's where I learned alot about addiction and about my own co-dependency.  I was able to LET GO that weekend... something I can only thank DrPhil for.   Tom went through withdrawls on the airplane trip to Texas and was hating life.  I hoped it was the last withdrawl he'd have to face, you'd think peole wouldn't want to go thru that again but...   whatever.

I agree, I would like to see some understanding and displayed knowledge of alcoholism but Dr.Phil knows what works for TV and I am not one to tell him what to do.  He has the power to send people to La Hacienda Treatment Center with the snap of a finger and I love him for doing so.  If I had a million bucks, I'd do the same thing.... send people to treatment and give people another chance at a successful life....  I'd try to break the chain in the life of families and children.

Again, kudos for your 5 years, I don't know you but I'm proud of you!

Joanne


 
March 17, 2008, 11:44 am CDT

IDENTITY THEFT VICTIMS - INCREASING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

For those of us who are left with the troublesome tasks of cleaning up our credit history after becoming a victim of identity theft, you may benefit from reading one of my favorite books regarding credit reporting:

 

The Road To 850:  Strategies For Increasing Your Credit Scores by Al Bingham

 

Receive a free copy of your credit report:  www.annualcreditreport.com

Receive an accurate copy of your credit score for a fee(or ask your lender) :  www.myfico.com

 

A common problem among the general public is the misunderstanding and misinformation about the free credit reports.  In 2003 Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (known as the FACT Act) which allows everyone the right to one free annual credit report from each credit bureau.  Everyone should utilize this opportunity to review the information from each of the three major credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. 

 

Hope it helps!

 

 
March 17, 2008, 12:06 pm CDT

CREDIT FLAGGING VS AGGRESSIVE SPENDING BY THIEVES

Quote From: cmolinger

Do NOT flag them!  It will be a pain to apply for credit, and it will take MONTHS to unblock yours or straighten it out.

I must say I disagree with your recommendation about requests for flagging credit files. 

 

When my purse was stolen and the thief went on a very aggressive and massive spending spree, I immediately requested a block with the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). 

 

I did not experience any difficulty after establishing the blocks.  As of today, I have no regrets about placing those blocks.

 

Hope it helps!

 

 

 

 
March 17, 2008, 2:13 pm CDT

That would depend...

Quote From: strommie

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.
on what the status is now! Do you have minors with these types of issues or are you interested on how to prevent such things from occuring?

If you care for minors..(first of all you need to be their actual legal guardian) and they have issues like these that need to be corrected, unfortunately you just really need to stay on the credit reporting agencies about this. Trust me, if you make enough noise and just continuously send them letter after letter after letter, they will remove the items just to get you out of their hair!

If you dont have these issues and want to prevent them, then just monitor their credit reports regularly and if something appears then have it frozen and investigated immediately.
 
March 19, 2008, 3:10 pm CDT

Thats an interesting story..

Quote From: crazydaisy

I got married in 2001. three months later, my mom called me up and told me that  she was 100 days late paying on my credit cards...I say my cards because they were in my name.  I'll start from the beginning. Mom had started building my credit up for me by taking out credit cards in my name when I was much younger and she paid on them faithfully. I understand that it was all for good intention, she didn't want me to struggle building my credit up on my own; HOWEVER, I was marrying a guy she didn't like when I still had one semester of school left, which she also didn't like because she honestly didn't think I would finish.  So she calls me up three months after I got married and tells me that the bills are very late and basically dumps it all off onto me. It was over 22,000 worth of debt that she racked up! I worked two jobs every summer during college to AVOID using the things because I know how dangerous they are.  Anyways, I used one of them once to pay for my GRE which was a wopping 100 dollars?  I think I may have used the other for books once or twice.  My point being that I may have spent 800 dollars total since I had them.  Plus, she always said that she would be responsible for all the debt that she put on there and I put on there since it was her only way of helping me in school. So I had all this debt as a newly wed that didn't even belong to me and because of it, I couldn't go to graduate school, I couldn't buy a house for the first three years I was married, and I couldn't even start a family until six years after we were married! That's how long it took for us to recover from it all.  I have forgiven my mother and in spite of my husband's anger, I didn't sue her; I just let it go. If she ever did it again, I would have to sue her for sure; she almost ruined my life. My life was put on hold and we had to live hand to mouth for a very long time. I will always believe that she put it back on me to see if my husband and I would get a divorce which almost worked; I feel that if I hadn't of married him, she wouldn't have done that. And as far as school goes, she didn't contribute a dime to help me since the debt I spent on the credit cards ( again she said she would pay for to help me out), I ended up paying for anyways. She did end up paying for half of the principle on the cards but didn't help with interest. So my husband and I still had to pay over 12 grand. I love my mother but she has and always will have a control problem. I'm recovered from the debt, but I still haven't been able to go back to school which has always been imortant for me; I'm too busy paying for my undergrad degree and working two jobs to help take care of my son. I'll go back eventually.

and I dont mean to sound insensitive, but after all that..all I can say is:

1) this is entirely your fault for allowing someone to have that much control and access over your financial life, do you see it as anyone else's fault?..
2) even if she was doing it for you, it was still totally irresponsible for you NOT to be involved in it to know whats going on?
3) I really hope you learned a valuable lesson in this.

But there is hope. I've worked in credit and finance for many years and I recommend this book to many of my clients struggling with credit issues.  The Road To 850:  Strategies For Increasing Your Credit Scores

 
March 31, 2008, 11:50 pm CDT

what???

Quote From: jimo2956

and I dont mean to sound insensitive, but after all that..all I can say is:

1) this is entirely your fault for allowing someone to have that much control and access over your financial life, do you see it as anyone else's fault?..
2) even if she was doing it for you, it was still totally irresponsible for you NOT to be involved in it to know whats going on?
3) I really hope you learned a valuable lesson in this.

But there is hope. I've worked in credit and finance for many years and I recommend this book to many of my clients struggling with credit issues.  The Road To 850:  Strategies For Increasing Your Credit Scores

I was seventeen years old, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT???  YOU ARE INSENSITIVE AND I HOPE YOU DON'T ADVISE PEOPLE FOR A LIVING!
 
April 1, 2008, 12:12 am CDT

what???

Quote From: jimo2956

and I dont mean to sound insensitive, but after all that..all I can say is:

1) this is entirely your fault for allowing someone to have that much control and access over your financial life, do you see it as anyone else's fault?..
2) even if she was doing it for you, it was still totally irresponsible for you NOT to be involved in it to know whats going on?
3) I really hope you learned a valuable lesson in this.

But there is hope. I've worked in credit and finance for many years and I recommend this book to many of my clients struggling with credit issues.  The Road To 850:  Strategies For Increasing Your Credit Scores

I was seventeen years old when she asked me if she could use my name on the credit cards; I thought, why not, I have no use for them anyways. I WAS SEVENTEEN, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? I TRUSTED MY MOTHER. I WAS YOUNG AND DUMB AT THE TIME. YOU ARE INSENSITIVE! I HOPE YOU DON'T ADVISE PEOPLE FOR A LIVING!
 
April 3, 2008, 11:43 am CDT

Actually, I do!

Quote From: crazydaisy

I was seventeen years old when she asked me if she could use my name on the credit cards; I thought, why not, I have no use for them anyways. I WAS SEVENTEEN, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? I TRUSTED MY MOTHER. I WAS YOUNG AND DUMB AT THE TIME. YOU ARE INSENSITIVE! I HOPE YOU DON'T ADVISE PEOPLE FOR A LIVING!
I'm a  CFP  (certified financial planner) and seriously ..I did NOT mean to be insensitive. I'm very sorry that you were vicitimized in this way. I agree that when you were young and most likely naive about the financial world that you were probably taken advantage of.
-But you were only 17 for a year and after that you were an adult.
-Plus, at some point you had to realize that bad debt was being stacked up in your name as a result of this.
-Plus, if your mother did this, I highly doubt is was a one time or first time thing which tells me that there were probably signs (visible to you even as a young teen) that she wasnt responsible when it came to money and
-with all that being said there should've been a point a long time ago where  you said 'STOP!!!!!"

Like I said, I really dont mean to sound insensitive but what you experienced actually happens a lot and I do my best to educate my clients from as young an age as possible, to be very aware of their financial lives to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
 
April 10, 2008, 10:11 am CDT

identity theft sucks

 When i was 23 years old, my wallet fell out of my purse, at work ( a well known hotel chain) and i didnt realize it untill i was at my car to drive home. I went back to get it, but noone at  the hotel was able to allow me to get in the room, since it had already been locked for the day. The next day I called my work, asking if my wallet was there, and of course it wasn't and so i called the lost and found and it took three days to get back to me, to find out it wasnt there. So i proceeded to go the police station and file a missing wallet report. Fastforward about 1 month later and i recieve a letter in the mail, stating that I have been late on my payment on my 10,000 dollar loan.!!!!!! I call the institution (citi-financial) and ask them what this is about, where they proceeded to explain that I had taken out this loan (I hadnt) and I immediatley flew down there to discuss the issue. At this time the only identifucation I had on me was my passport, since all the other identification was in my stolen wallet. I showed my ID and the loan officer proceeded to tell me that I was definitley not the person who had taken out the loan. So again, I go and file an Identity theft report, and the police were nothing but jerks. They didnt believe me. They accused me of lying so i didnt have to pay the loans, even though the loan officer clearly indicated it wasnt me. The police failed to follow up at the hotel i worked at, because it was obviously an employee who had access to that room and stole it, and they still wouldnt investigate when I was bringing them checks I was recieving in the mail for rent? I was 23. barley able to pay for my two bedroom apt, and was in school full time there was no way i was owning buildings and renting them out. I had records from the bank that my identity thief opened in my name. A history clearly showed I had not used that bank in years. The account showed that people shopped at places that I had never shopped at before, and still nothing. To this day, almost 7 years later, I have gotten no where, my credit is completley wiped out because of all this debt that been put on me. I refuse to pay this debt off, and no one is willing to help. Because of this, I cant buy a car, a home, or even get a credit card. does anyone know people who are willing to help? ps. I live in Ont. canada
 
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