Identity Theft Crimes

My husband and I have been dealing with a case of identity theft for the past 13 + years. Though we have done everything “right,” according to a credit union financial advisor we consulted, we have been unable to keep a checking account at any of our local banks.

Two years ago, we were able to open a checking account with a local branch of  Umpqua bank, only to have ChexSystems report to them a bounced check on a Washington Mutual bank  by a woman listed as  Blanca Garibay-Sanchez, using my husbands social security number. The ChexSystems report clearly gave this other persons name. My husband presented all the necessary proof of who he is, including spending three hours with the branch manager providing extensive documentation of his victimization by this woman, but the manager at Umpqua was simply incapable of reading the report and acknowledging that the person responsible was not him.

Our checking account was promptly closed, the $1,330.00 we had deposited into the account when we opened it, was held by the bank for a full 21-days, even though the funds had cleared the issuing bank and, to add insult to injury, no interest was paid on the held funds.

Fortunately, we had an account in Michigan, which we have had for close to ten years now. Still, mailing checks and receipts back and forth so often can be a real pain and an added expense.

Speaking of added expenses. Our politicians are  making such a stink about “affordable health care costs.” Well, our family prefers to pay our own health care costs. I choose not to trade my medical privacy for cheap, ineffective and invasive health care. It’s a choice our government doesn’t want us to have. Our “leaders” are on a huge power trip.

We have made police reports, contacted our legislators, INS, the  FBI  and various other government agencies, and the only advice we get over and over is to change his social security number. Why do officials refuse to address the huge identity theft crisis we have in this country? I’ll tell you why…

We have spent untold hours of our precious time — time away from our business and more importantly our son — trying to fix this problem. We first discovered the identity theft when my husband applied for unemployment benefits. He received two checks, then suddenly nothing. When he inquired into the withheld checks, he was informed that he can not collect disability and unemployment benefits at the same time. He had never been on disability in his life.

The social security administration was notified of the theft. She was stealing disability benefits, but nothing was done, even though all the information was provided. The state had her name and  address — you know — the one where the disability checks were being sent. And of course, proof of the fraud is as simple as her cashing these checks drawn on someone elses SSN.

Time is the one thing we can’t replace. Once it’s gone it is gone forever. The more time we spend writing meaningless letters, filing ineffectual reports and authorizing federal investigations, the less time we have to care for our own needs.

It is times like these that I wish I had gone to law school. I would love to get Umpqua bank, the  social security administration and Blanca Garibay-Sanchez into court. They are ruining our lives. We turned to a credit union for help because no bank in the state would allow us to open an account. We had to have a co-signer to purchase a car — we can forget getting a home loan — even with credit score of over 700.

I have always been a proud American but knowing there are people who  could help but literally refuse to do their jobs is very frustrating. It is little comfort to know that  we are not alone. Millions are blindsided by an identity theft related crime every year. When are our leaders going to listen? Maybe we should all move to Arizona, if for nothing more than a show of solidarity. Send Mexico home.

Jessie,
in California