East Texan's Identity Stolen, House Bought with her Credit - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/11/02 - Tyler

East Texan's Identity Stolen, House Bought with her Credit

   How "it" happened Aleshia still doesn't know. But this woman who wishes to remain anonymous painfully learned that identity theft isn't always as simple as someone stealing your wallet and running up a few credit cards.

   "I went to Southside to get a loan and I filled out the application and everything was good until the next day when she told me, I was like wow! Ya know, 144,000 dollars for a house," says Aleshia, identity stolen.

   That's where the paperwork nightmare started and the roller-coaster of identity theft began. Credit reports revealed a woman in Chicago hadn't just bought a house with Aleshia's identification. One day at a car dealership, Aleshia learned she already had a car loan.

   "And I said how much is the car? 37-thousand dollars, I was like wow. I wanted to cry, it's a lot of stress," says Aleshia.

   "But this person who has stolen her identity, is continuing to attempt to open credit," says Kay Robinson with the BBB. "Her credit reports show there have been attempts to open credit just in the past couple of months."

   Aleshia does have the Better Business Bureau in Tyler on her side. They see identity theft daily, but say Aleshia's case is unusual.

   "In her case this is an odd twist. The person is paying their bills for the most part. They're making their mortgage payments. They're making their car payments. It's a strange twist, because typically they steal your credit cards and run up your bill and disappear," says Kay Robinson with the BBB.

   What's not disappearing is the mountain of affidavits needed to be filed to every bank, credit agency and mortgage company. How do you avoid your identity being robbed? The BBB says you can't. But you can safeguard your social security card, keep track of credit bills and shred when necessary. Minor precautions to shred your chances of someone stealing your trash or taking your mail and making some easy money at your expense.

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