So, my identity was stolen earlier this year in March. A Verizon wireless account was opened, several credit cards were applied for (Amazon, ChaseVisa, Mastercard, but all were denied except for the Amazon) and a UPS.com account was opened, all in my maiden name and using my parents' address in Atlanta, where I haven't lived in over 3 years. I've been married for almost two years so my social security card has my married name on it, and I have lived in Washington state since 2009. I even have a Washington driver's license and an updated WA state address. I only found out that my identity was stolen because my dad called me and announced that he received a "potential fraud" letter from the credit card companies and a huge Verizon bill of 600 dollars with a 404 cell phone area code. My WA area code is 360. My dad gave me the information to call Amazon and Verizon to cancel the accounts. So I called Amazon and the credit card was cancelled with no problem. No questions were asked of me and the call lasted about 5-10 mins. I then call Verizon....This is where the fun starts.
(This is on a Thursday)......I am connected with a rep. We start talking about the fraud account. I wanted to know where the account was opened. The Verizon rep actually said they opened the account up over the phone with no proof of identity. They just accepted that the person was me and opened an account. Ok. So I asked them to cancel the account and that my identity was stolen.
They said "I'm placing a fraud hold on the account. You need to file a police report and you need to explicitly include Verizon Wireless. If you don't include the words Verizon Wireless, the police report will be invalid. Then, you need to fax that police report over with a copy of your driver's license within 7 days. If you don't, you will be held responsible for this account and it won't be classified as fraud anymore."
So, Verizon can open an account with a stolen SSN without proof over the phone, but when the right person wants to redeem themselves and cancel the fraud account, Verizon Wireless requires that person to jump all through these hoops and prove that they are actually the rightful owner of that stolen SSN. WTF? That is the most ridiculous thing I have even come across. Amazon didn't need me to prove my identity!
I brush off the Verizon ridiculousness and file a police report. I fax them over a copy of the police report and my ID on Friday, the next day. I call them 30 minutes after I faxed them over to confirm that Verizon has received the documents to close the account. The rep said that they had the documents and that she was closing the account.
I think all is well and I go on my merry way.
1 month later, I get a call from my dad saying that a Verizon bill with the same 404 phone number came, with an outrageous dollar amount yet again. I had followed all of the requirements that they had put in place to cancel fraud accounts, so of course my dad and I were both confused as to why a bill arrived. I call Verizon back, and they pull up the account. The rep said "Hmm. This is interesting. It says that the account was closed but the balance was never zeroed out." She got it zeroed out and said "You will receive one more bill, but it is going to be zero dollars. It is just to confirm that the account has been taken care of."
I haven't heard anything from my dad about the account, so I am pretty sure that the last rep got it taken care of, but still. The process of canceling fraud accounts that they open up without proof is outrageous.
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