Don learned he was a victim of identity theft when he received a collection notice from Sprint Wireless. He was surprised to receive the notice from Sprint because he had never been a customer of the company. It appeared that someone had opened an account in his name using stolen information about him. Don filed a complaint with Sprint and sent the company copies of his driver’s license and social security card, hoping to prove his real identity.
Don also drove to several Sprint stores in the Dallas area, attempting to fix the mix-up. He showed them copies of his identification and explained he had never been a Sprint customer. One manager told Don that he believed him, but there was nothing else that he could do.
Don learned a similar fraudulent account in his name had been set up at TXU Energy, which led to the company turning off his electricity during the hottest days of summer. Don paid six-hundred dollars to reconnect. TXU Energy also charged him an additional $450 for a deposit. He hired a lawyer and sent letters to the credit bureaus explaining he had been a victim of identity theft.
Don says that he is most upset about the effect the identity theft has had on his credit report. His credit score dropped from 820 to 580, and he has had difficulty obtaining new credit. He is also seeking employment and notes that his poor credit has made it difficult to get a job.
Unfortunately, Don has not worked out the problem with Sprint. He has recently received another collection notice from Sprint. He worries that his credit will be further damaged.
“This has cost me a lot of blood, sweat, and tears,” Don told the Consumers Union, “It’s certainly not over yet.”