Someone may be using my license information - what should I do?
December 13, 2012 6:03 PM   Subscribe

Scam filter: An apartment finders made a copy of my license upon entering (before even filling out an application). I didn't end up using their service and asked for the copy of my license back. They made a bunch of excuses and then said that they shredded the copy of my license and showed me a bunch of shreddings. What can I do to protect my identity?

As soon as I left the place I thought, "wait how am I supposed to know that those shreddings were actually the copy of my license,". So I called the police and told them what happened. Is there anything else I can do? I figure this isn't the biggest priority for the cops.

Note: they also claimed to have shredded my application which had my name and cell phone number on it.
posted by defmute to Law & Government (9 answers total)
Asking honestly (because licenses vary from state to state): What is on your license that would put your identity at risk of being stolen? Not your SSN, right?
posted by supercres at 6:19 PM on December 13, 2012

Response by poster: No my SSN isn't on it. I'm mostly concerned cause they were so reluctant to give the copy of my license back and instea decided to claim that they shredded it.
posted by defmute at 6:28 PM on December 13, 2012

You have no proof, or even a real reason to be suspicious that a crime has been or will be committed. What exactly did you expect the police to do? Unless you plan to break into their office to search for your license there is nothing you can do.

Relax. The odds that the people working there are criminal masterminds is slim.
posted by COD at 6:30 PM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

It could be they really did shred it and made excuses because they're not used to people asking for this and were just caught off-guard and/or embarrassed. I would let it go.
posted by bleep at 6:44 PM on December 13, 2012

If they really were criminal masterminds, they could have made a copy of the copy, then given you back the first copy with you none the wiser.
posted by fings at 6:50 PM on December 13, 2012 [4 favorites]

This feels a bit non-issuey. Relax.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 7:02 PM on December 13, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I feel a lot more reassured after reading all of your responses. I just never had anyone ask for my ID right off the bat like that.
posted by defmute at 7:16 PM on December 13, 2012

Best answer: It is very common for the license to be copied before an apartment is shown. I have no doubt that they kept the copy and lied to you, probably due to inexperience on the part of the person you spoke with.

When we were looking at apartments last year, this was universal in the area.

I have no direct knowledge, but I can surmise:

1. Somewhere in the U.S., an apartment resident was victimized in some kind of horrific crime by a person who had seen her when being shown an apartment.
2. The apartment manager had not taken a name or had been given a fake name.
3. An industry group thereafter recommended this step as a preventive measure.
posted by megatherium at 4:25 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

My thought for why they do this was, an apartment manager was attacked inside an empty unit by a person who was being shown the apartment.
posted by Rash at 9:36 AM on December 14, 2012

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