Identity theft and fraud - former employer?!
October 8, 2012 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I need some help: I am almost convinced my former Executive level manager stole my identity and rented an apartment under my name where he is presently residing....what to do?

Yesterday morning an e-mail was forwarded to me by my former colleague whom was granted access to my e-mails after I left 4 months ago, and the e-mail depicts a conversation between someone posing as myself on my old work e-mail speaking with a real estate agent about being introduced to the new landlords of where he was presently residing.

Now there's no way in hell there was another person with my name as it is very unique, and only a handful of employees work in this office, not to mention I keep in touch with this former colleague to know this for certain. As I recall my former manager was desperately seeking an apartment but had no credit history in the US to take out a mortgage or lease on an expensive apartment, and casually stated how fantastic it would be if a friend added him as co-owner to a credit card. Next On Friday of last week he mentions to my ex-colleague that he will be meeting his new landlord on Saturday for the first time, and in the e-mail I received there is an exchange between the new lord and the imposter stating how nice it was to meet you (my first and last name).

I am no law expert but this appears to be identity theft as well as fraud. I filed a police report immediately. Now Is this even needed in order to comfront the real estate agent and obtain a copy of the lease? As of yet there is no record in my possession of any address, I simply have names and the conversation and as my credit has not been damaged the police do not have enough evidence to confront the alleged suspect.

Any opinions or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you all tremendously. The most disappointing thing is that this is a an executive level manager of a mid sized company whom is the alleged suspect and I suspect this person has been committing this crime since I was still employed for them, as the suspect "moved to his new apartment," when I was still an employee
posted by Wazooga to Law & Government (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Contact one of the big three credit agencies, lock your credit file.

Pull your free credit report, check everything on it, if you see things you don't recognize - document and call the credit granter.

Keep lots of documentation, if you think you have enough data: Go to a lawyer and get them to write a letter to the companies HR department and board of directors. It will stop REALLY quickly if it's a genuine thing.
posted by iamabot at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


It seems so far-fetched. Most apartments would need some identification, for one thing. And unless he's paying them in cash, he'd need a bank account in your name too. And if he IS trying to steal your identity, why use your email address? Faking id is hard but anyone can create an email adress for Waz O. Oga.

But if you're worried, drop by the leasing agent and tell them your unusual name, and say you have reason to believe someone posing as you rented from them. If you're wrong, no harm done. If you're right, they will take all the action that needs to be taken.
posted by ubiquity at 10:18 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


It seems so far-fetched. Most apartments would need some identification, for one thing. And unless he's paying them in cash, he'd need a bank account in your name too.

Employers are generally required to have photocopies of a valid ID on file for employees. Maybe he worked it so that he just faxed a copy of "his" ID to the landlord.

It is easy to buy money orders with cash to pay rent—I've done this on many occasions and I've never been questioned.

I disagree that you should go to the leasing agent. This person has no incentive to help you, unless they are feeling especially ethical. They may have an incentive not to help you, if they feel like they are going to get in trouble for being fooled by the person using your identity. I think you should get a lawyer.
posted by enn at 10:21 AM on October 8, 2012


take all the action that needs to be taken

Sorry, I was just thinking about the possibly fraudulent rental. Of course if the guy really did a 100% identify theft on you, you'd have other actions to take. But for that see the other responses.
posted by ubiquity at 10:22 AM on October 8, 2012


Maybe he worked it so that he just faxed a copy of "his" ID to the landlord.

I said far-fetched, not impossible. I've never rented anything where somewhere along the line someone didn't see me and my picture id in the room at the same time.
posted by ubiquity at 10:24 AM on October 8, 2012


First, call the police. Then call an attorney. This is serious $hit.
posted by brownrd at 10:27 AM on October 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


The conversation occurred across the work e-mail I previously used. Firstname.lastname. And I agree about real estate agents needing proper documentation under normal circumstances unless of course this person was negligent and/or an accomplice
posted by Wazooga at 10:29 AM on October 8, 2012


I've never rented anything where somewhere along the line someone didn't see me and my picture id in the room at the same time.

I guess my previous landlord was either crazy or I came across as super trustworthy, but I've rented an apartment (an expensive one) with three other people and none of us had to show any identification.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:31 AM on October 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I would for sure go to the leasing agent and ask him if he has someone posing as you leasing a unit from him.

Landlords don't want to rent to fruadsters, they have no recourse if the guy trashes the joint and then skips town. You're putting him/her on notice that you know it's fraud, and now they know it. Send a letter certified mail.

Dear Leasing Agent,

It has come to my attention that it is possible that someone posing as me has leased an apartment in my name, with my SSN. Please confirm if this is true, if so, please provide me with any and all paperwork so that I may have my attorney begin civil proceedings against the theif, and that I might give the police additional information for their investigation. If this is not true, please let me know.

Wazooga

If you get the confirmation that this indeed is going on, do forward to the headquarters location so that they might take action, as they might be subject to a further lawsuit from you in the future, if they don't take action against the theif.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:36 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


I would also file a complaint with whatever licensing board the real estate agent received his/her license from, and the Better Business Bureau. Good luck, and please post back letting us know how things turn out.
posted by invisible ink at 10:37 AM on October 8, 2012


Before you start taking legal advice from the Internet, what did the police tell you to do?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:45 AM on October 8, 2012


He police could not follow and damn near refused writing the report
posted by Wazooga at 10:52 AM on October 8, 2012


I would also file a complaint with whatever licensing board the real estate agent received his/her license from

Before you go making a complaint like this you better investigate to make sure you know what is actually happening. You could very easily find yourself on the losing end of a suit for libel or defamation of character or commercial disparagement. You have no facts that indicate the broker/agent has done anything wrong.
posted by uncaken at 10:59 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know that I've ever had a landlord who demanded ID, and I've lived a lot of places. The name on my check was good enough. I think it would be easy as pie to rent someplace via fax or email.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2012


Is a private investigator an option?
posted by small_ruminant at 11:05 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


You need to pull your complete credit report from all three agencies and (obviously) make sure that there are no unfamiliar accounts, but also make sure that there are no unfamiliar credit checks on there. Presumably, he simply had them pull your credit history so that he could pass the landlord's credit check. If that is what has happened, then you have some evidence to take to the police or the leasing office at his apartment.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:20 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Do the credit report check and speak to a lawyer. Have the lawyer contact the leasing agent; the lawyer will know how to do so while protecting you from libel. They will also be able to immediately take other action to protect your identity/credit if they confirm that the person has committed this fraud.
posted by vignettist at 12:24 PM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm with vignettist, go to a lawyer. It may cost you a little money, but you don't want to risk getting sued by sending our registered letters on your own as has been suggested. If you really want to do it on your own, follow all the steps outlined by the Federal Trade Commission here. Plus, I think it is reasonable to make a verbal, in-person inquiry at the leasing agent. But not until you've locked down your credit files.
posted by beagle at 12:33 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would find the property that is being rented and go to the leasing office and identify yourself and ask for a copy of your lease agreement and rental application to submit those documents to the police.

Oh, and take a copy of the email with you in case the leasing agent doesn't play ball and you have to explain the situation to them. Maybe I'm crazy (Yes, I am) but that's what I'd do..
posted by loquat at 1:22 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is for a lawyer to sort out. And quickly, very quickly.
posted by cool breeze at 2:34 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I said far-fetched, not impossible. I've never rented anything where somewhere along the line someone didn't see me and my picture id in the room at the same time.

In some, not all, of my interactions, it would have been possible to forge a picture with a bad photocopy of a license that I was required to turn in. This happens with apartment complexes which are less strict about these things. It is certainly very possible.
posted by geoff. at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2012


« Older I have a rooted Samsung Galaxy...   |  How can I run one mile faster?... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.