• United States



Someone tried to steal my identity

Jan 04, 20123 mins
Data and Information Security

Someone has spent the last three months trying to get prescription drugs using my name.

I learned of this when I got home last night to a note on the kitchen table with a Salem, N.H. police officer’s name and number with a message to call him back.

I dialed, wondering why on Earth a cop wanted to talk to me. I didn’t recall witnessing a murder or car crash. In fact, my life had been pretty uneventful of late.

The officer cut to the chase: Someone has been trying hard to get prescription drugs using my name.

He’s tried it in Walgreens. He’s tried it in Rite-Aid. I’m not sure if he’s tried it in the pharmacy I actually use. The police have a grainy surveillance camera photo of a scruffy-looking guy. Other than that, they don’t know who the guy is.

During one of his attempts, the guy was asked for his ID. He told the pharmacist he left it outside and went to fetch it. He came back with someone who produced their own ID. Not very smart. And yet, I’m told, that passed muster with the pharmacist. I’m still not sure I believe that detail. If it’s true, someone deserves to be fired.

Fortunately for me, the guy attempting to use my identity doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. The address he uses isn’t close to being right. He is using my birth date, but is off on the year of birth.

Still, that someone is trying to use my name for illegal purposes is jarring. I thought hard about how he got my information in the first place.

Did he somehow find my banking information? I tend to doubt it. We watch our accounts daily and haven’t noticed anything out of place, though I’m certainly calling my bank this morning to give them a head’s up.

Far as I can tell, he got the idea to use my identity from my Facebook page. I don’t give my address or year of birth, but I have had the day of birth on my profile. Given the mistakes the guy has made, it seems reasonable to connect it to my Facebook page. That doesn’t mean he didn’t get my information elsewhere, but it’s all I got at the moment.

I’ve since removed all birthday information, and feel rather stupid for letting that much information onto the profile to begin with.

I’m not angry with the guy who is doing this. He appears to have an addiction and needs help. I hope he gets it.

At the same time, he’s putting my name in jeopardy and I’m not going to let him get away with it.

Fortunately, the police appear to be as on top of things as they can be.

For now, the lesson is to keep your basic social networking profile as bare as possible. I have to clean mine further, now that I’ve become a statistic.

–Bill Brenner

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