Based on the successful children's novel "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie".....
I have a friend who does daycare. One of her clients is a grandmother who is the sole custodian of her granddaughter.
At the end of the year, my friend (a sole proprietor) sent a 1099 form to her client who inadvertently left it on her table..... when the mother of the child came for a visit and .....took the Social Security number and name listed on the 1099 back home with her to the valley..... where she opened a Fred Meyer credit card in the amount of $8,000 and with an APR of 22.99%. She of course put in a false address and ....goes what else ?........ shopping.
My friend goes to refinance her home... when the loan officer tells her......"there's a problem. You have a seriously delinquent account on your credit report". My friend's impeccable credit history has been marred and is now preventing her from refinancing her home. She begins the long, somewhat difficult process of getting this unauthorized account removed from her credit. She calls the police..... they start the investigation, they stall.... she calls, she writes, one agency and then the next..... when finally, one year later, she gets Fred Meyer and all three reporting agencies to remove the account from her report. In the meantime.........
It gets better....... my friend's credit card "B" had a universal default rate clause. Ever hear of one of those? A universal default rate says that company B can raise your interest rate if you default on any other credit card obligation, including company A (in this case, Fred Meyer). For my friend, this became the worst of all scenarios as her credit report became a consumer and loan officers worst nightmare.
Now, she not only had to prove that she was unjustly the victim, she also had to prove to her creditors that she did not "DO" anything to warrant the "universal default rate" charges being imposed to her account. Credit card company B then had to "try" and remove the interest upon interest charges now added to her account balance. YIKES! All in all, it took 2 years to undo the damage done and bring the responsible party to justice. She is now finally able to proceed with refinancing her home, although at a higher rate than she could have secured two years ago.
WOW........ as I have said before, protect your identity and your social security number at all costs. People are desperate and there are those that will not blink an eye when manipulating someone elses identity. A mistake, even one you are not aware of (or responsible for) .... can be costly. Be careful out there and check your credit report annually.
Note: For those of you unaware, you are entitled to ONE free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies each year. To get yours, click on https://www.annualcreditreport.com and sign up today.