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Sep 29, 2004

Identity Theft
So I need to vent. I work for my family's business. We are a smallish company and we try to do things right and do right by people who work for us or with us. We may be too nice. We just got a call from a collection agency looking for over $2000 for a cell phone account that was set up in our business' name. It wasn't set up by any of us though. It was set up by our old lawyer who was borrowing some office space from us to get back on his feet after he was disbarred...for stealing money from his clients. We were nice. We were trying to help the guy out. We let him use an empty office. Then weird things started happening. He was taking too many liberties. He used our conference room which we never gave permission for, he was storing things in our warehouse we never gave permission for, he let some guy test some stuff in a big old delapidated shed out back. And then his partner left him. Then we started getting mail for two other companies for him (He set up three companies it appears). Then the big one hit. We got a cell phone bill with no charges on it. We called and it turned out he had set it up but they had asked for some information he didn't have and he gave up. So the account went only half way through but enough to send a bill with a $0.00 balance. THEN about three weeks later, we get a call from another cell phone company looking for $800 in charges. We told the jerk in question to pay it. We have not recieve any payment or word that it has been payed. Today we got yet another call. This one from a collection agency, looking for the over $2000 in charges for another cell phone company.

We were trying to help this guy out. That's how my father is. He is, if nothing else, very forgiving. Then we get stabbed in the back. The Jerk doesn't know what he is in for. We have already spoken with our lawyer. Next step is a police report, then the D.A.'s office. This is officially Identity Theft. He used our company to set up an unauthorized account (or actually, three accounts).

My biggest concern is what are the protections in place for businesses victimized by Identity Theft. There are lots of things for the individual, including Texas Penal Code 32.51 which makes Identity theft a felony in Texas. And it is also prosecutible on a national level. But we are not sure yet what can be done when a company is the one having its identity stolen.

The moral of the story is, as it turns out, often people (and companies) have their identities stolen by people that they know. So watch your own backs, people.

Wish us luck.
posted by Ty @ 9/29/2004
At 10:50 PM, September 29, 2004, Blogger Dylan said...

That's rough... It is sad that people can't do things without being subject to malevolence... It has gotten to the point where you just almost can't do the "above and beyond" good things for people anymore... Good luck with everything!

At 8:30 AM, September 30, 2004, Blogger Ty said...

Thanks. I have faith that is will work out. It was a very stressful day though.

At 9:03 AM, September 30, 2004, Blogger grl said...

Which cell phone company was it? I may be able to help.

At 9:09 AM, September 30, 2004, Blogger Ty said...

AT&T Wireless. How do you think you could help?

At 1:27 PM, September 30, 2004, Blogger grl said...

I work for a wireless company. AT&T is the worst about giving anyone and everyone a phone whether it is fraudulent or not. UGH! I would contact their corporate office and talk to the director or president (atleast their secretary's) and tell them the problem. I would get some names and send emails to each and every person that you can find. Trust me, if someone that doesn't care about you see's that you are copying their boss and their bosses boss on a nastygram...they will bend over backwards for you suddenly whether they want to help you or not.

At 1:53 PM, September 30, 2004, Blogger Ty said...

I think that is probably very good advice no matter what problem you have! I hate to resort to it, but I agree, get the boss involved and voila! Thanks!


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