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Margaret, Illinois

Margaret received a call from an angry bill collector, demanding that she pay a balance on a credit card. Margaret pointed out that she had never opened the credit card account in question. The bill collector called Margaret a “liar” and told her that she was going to lose her home and go to jail. Margaret requested her credit report so that she could get information about the fraudulent account. She learned that a thief had obtained her social security number and credit score. The thief had opened new accounts in Margaret’s name and added his or her name to the accounts. The identity thief then charged several thousand dollars at an electronics store.

Margaret called the credit card companies and cancelled the illegitimate accounts in her name. She also notified the local police department, which took a report. The department also cooperated with the credit card issuers to help the companies determine it was a matter of fraud. However, Margaret has not been notified of any investigation or arrest in the case.

“The bill collectors and credit card companies treated me as though I was the criminal,” Margaret told the Consumers Union, “It’s frustrating that identity theft victims have to jump through so many hoops.”

The credit card fraud was not the fist time Margaret had dealt with identity theft. Several years earlier, she was pregnant and received a bill for a hysterectomy. It appeared that an identity thief was obtaining medical services in her name. Margaret continues to try to solve the problem with her health insurance