Case Studies

ITAC helps tens of thousands of consumers by streamlining the process of restoring their financial identities. You can download case studies that demonstrate how financial services companies who belong to ITAC detect and resolve identity theft cases.

Case Study: Identity Theft Hits Close to Home in Los Angeles

Paul is a 71-year-old tax preparer. He first suspected someone was using his identity to get credit when he received an invoice with more than $4,000 in charges from GM MasterCard - an account he never used and never applied for.

He contacted the card issuer, HSBC, which then confirmed Paul was a victim of identity theft. HSBC referred him to ITAC. During the interview, the ITAC agent found one other bogus account and five cases where someone had tried to open accounts in his name.

Paul says he knew who was behind the fraud from the start.

He confronted his tenant - a woman and her two daughters, one of whom as pregnant - who rented an apartment on the premises. Paul and his wife had grown close to the family, who were always in his home and on his computer. "We had compassion for this woman, we treated her like a daughter," Paul said.

He evicted the tenant and filed a police report. Investigators found his mail in her apartment. She tried to re-enter the apartment, and Paul had to file a restraining order.

"Unfortunately, the whole experience has hardened us, we’ve lost trust in other people," Paul says. "We don’t want to come down on a young person gone astray. It’s unfortunate but necessary."

In the meantime, Paul will not allow anyone to use his computer. He’s also deleted a free software program that automatically fills in forms used for online purchases, among other things, with personal information—including the last four digits of his social security number.

As for ITAC: "You can’t imagine what a relief it is in the middle of all this having somebody is on your side."



Cases from ITAC Files

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Copyright © 2013    ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, is the national advocate for identity theft victims and a leading voice on identity policy. Millions of consumers have access to the ITAC victim assistance service through our members - the financial services companies who support ITAC and offer it as a free service for their customers. ITAC is dedicated to protecting all consumers through education, research and the criminal prosecution of identity crime.