Case Study: Veteran Grapples with Ex-Wife’s Dishonorable Credit Card Charges

John Trenton’s ex stole his identity to charge $10,000 to fake credit cards in his name. His luck turned around when CyberScout stepped in to help.

Friday, February 03, 2012

John Trenton* thought his relationship with his ex-wife ended with their divorce.

But years later, the retiree learned she charged more than $10,000 to a credit card opened in his name and stuck him with the bill. The account went into collections and sent his credit score plummeting.

Trenton tried to resolve the matter on his own, but he didn’t get very far in his dealings with the debt collectors. “They tormented me daily with calls and threats,” he said.

Then, one day, he and his wife were reviewing the annual update to their insurance policies with MetLife Auto & Home. His wife noticed that coverage included LifeStages™ Identity Management Services from CyberScout.

Trenton immediately called MetLife, which connected him to CyberScout fraud investigator Maria Valenzuela. “That was the best day I’d had in a long time, when they put me in touch with her,” he said.

Valenzuela informed Trenton that the debt collector was required by law to give him 30 days to prove he was a victim of identity theft under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Valenzuela communicated directly with the debt collector and original creditor—with Trenton also on the line—to remove the debt from his name and credit file. To back up his claim, she prepared a mailing that included copies of Trenton’s driver’s license, divorce decree, affidavit, proof of address while the account was active, and a police report.

To protect Trenton from fraud in the future, Valenzuela placed a seven-year fraud alert on Trenton’s file with the three major credit-reporting agencies and enrolled him in CyberScout’s check monitoring system and credit monitoring services.

Within a few months, the case was resolved.

Trenton is relieved the ordeal is over. “I had been getting harassed for years, and Maria fixed it all in six months,” he said. “We’re thankful every day for the assistance CyberScout gave us. It was like a miracle, really.”

* Name has been changed to protect customer’s privacy.


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If you need identity theft assistance, call your provider organization to be put in touch with the CyberScout Resolution Center. More information for individual consumers.