Ken Meyer decided to check his credit report, and got the shock of a lifetime.
The Northern Kentucky man's credit score was down to a loan-killing 457, all because there was an unpaid cell phone bill of almost $3,000 in his name.
"It was $2,850. For a phone bill," he said.
Only problem: It was from Verizon Wireless, and Meyer is not a Verizon customer.
Victim of ID Theft
It appears that someone using his personal information, including his Social Security Number, opened up a cell phone account at Verizon Wireless earlier this year.
"They didn't pay the bill, so Verizon shut them down. But it showed up on my credit report as a non payment," he said.
So he called Erlanger, KY police.
Police investigator Mike Leming told us hes seeing more and more of this. "We've seen a big increase in identity theft, usually general we get one to two cases a week."
Police gave Meyer an identity theft packet, and what it contains is something we all should know.
On Your Side Advice
If you suspect ID theft:
- File a police report immediately.
- Ask if they have an ID theft packet to help guide you.
- File a fraud report at the 3 credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
- Check your credit report and dispute anything wrong.
Sgt. Leming goes one step further, and recommends signing up for credit alerts, even if you are not a victim . "They'll tell you if anyone opens up a new account, if there's any activity on your card."
A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman says the company is now investigating, and as soon as they determine this was a fraudulent account they will make sure it is removed from Meyer's credit report.
In addition, he will not be liable for any fraudulent charges.
Meyer's advice? Check your credit report frequently. "Check it, it's very important," he said.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
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