Take it from me, becoming a victim of identity theft feels like you've been violated. But I'm starting to realize there's a strange comfort in knowing that it was a stranger who hijacked my credit card. Scott Davis, on the other hand, has been told by cops that the person who stole his tax refund and thousands of dollars from his bank account while he was serving our country overseas as a member of the Army was none other than his own mom!
I think that ranks right up there among the worst betrayals of trust, how about you? Cops say Jennifer Fletcher, 42, had promised her son that she'd file his tax returns. The poor guy was overseas and didn't exactly have access to an H&R Block, so turning to his mom was kind of the obvious choice, right?
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Fletcher and an accomplice named Keith Hoover allegedly used her son's name and personal information to have checks issued, and deposited his $1,400 tax refunds in her own account. Then cops say she started spending. Media reports vary on just how much she spent. Some say as much as $16,000 of Scott's money disappeared, others put the figure at $7,500. Either way, this poor guy got taken for a ride when he was at his most vulnerable: far away from home, focused on doing his job for our nation.
He's not alone; an estimated 9 percent of identity theft cases are tied back to a family member, and sadly many of them are perpetrated by parents. It's usually younger kids who really have no reason to check up on their credit, which allows the scam to go on undetected. Kind of like a guy who is overseas serving in the military, huh?
This mess puts into perspective what we feel when a no-name person decides to try to take control of our credit. Yes, I was furious, vacillating between feelings of helplessness and anger at the dishonest piece of filth who thought they had a right to my hard-earned money.
And yet, I still had my family around me. My inner circle hadn't been violated, just my credit card.
But for people like Scott Davis, the trust has been broken. He has to look at what his mom's accused of and wonder: "If I can't trust the one person who is supposed to love me and be there for me above all else, who CAN I trust?"
Have you had your identity stolen? What was on your mind when it happened?
Image via Phillip Taylor PT/Flickr