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Identity theft tales
Bankrate readers (and some scammers) share their stories about identity theft.
Protecting your identity

True (and not so true) ID theft tales

Identity theft can have a fleeting impact on finances or become a nightmare that never really ends.

Bankrate asked for readers' experiences with fraud and identity theft and received many tales of incidents that represent the vast range of the crime -- including some missives from scammers themselves! The following letters have been edited for style and clarity, and in one case, to something that more closely resembles the English language.

Reader feedback
A friendly fraud
A while back I allowed a friend of mine to turn on a few of his utilities in my name. He had hit a rough spot, so I allowed him to put his cable and electric in my name. This, of course, came with the disclaimer that the balance would be paid in full. I was living with my parents at the time, so it wasn't a big deal for me.

What had been just two utilities ended up becoming gas and phone service as well as cable and electric and totaled over $2,500.

I brought it up with him numerous times to make good on the debt with no action taken on his part except for numerous empty promises to pay.

Ultimately, I filed a police report on him. I was going to press identity theft charges against him as two of the utilities were not authorized by me. He was looking at doing time, but ultimately I was able to get an agreement with him, his attorney and the utility companies for him to take over the bills in his name, admit that he stole my information, and from what I know he has been paying them little by little each month.

Now it could have been a lot worse. I really didn't want to see someone I know do six months in jail and me still have to pay the bills, so it worked out to both of our advantages.
-- Bob

-- Posted: May 27, 2008
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