Need help. re: identity theft

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by vastoholic, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. vastoholic, Jan 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #1
    Prepare for a possible long read:

    My girlfriend (Sarah to avoid confusion) is currently going through identity theft from someone she trusted for over a year and let into her house because the girl was kicked out of her ex boyfriends house. Here's what we know. As soon as she moved in with her a few weeks ago, someone has hacked into computer and installed some sort of key logging program we're guessing because all of her various account information has been compromised. Social security numbers, credit card numbers and pins, emails, Facebook, apple info (she has an iPhone), everything. She let her sleep in her bed and she found her checkbook buried under stuff on that girls side with several of them missing. A ring has turned up missing (I'm not sure if that happened before or after she moved in). I'm not sure what if anything was done to her phone because I know she has borrowed it before and who knows if she's used it while my girlfriend was sleeping. Apparently she has internet service through AT&T. She was on the phone with them and Apple today for several hours. AT&T said they could see what was going on (I don't know to what extent). She kicked her out finally 2 days ago. Sarah had tried to go to DHS the other day to get some help with health insurance for her and her 4 year old kid because she's been struggling even more since the girl moved in. Apparently the girl called back to DHS and provided them with all the necessary information and told them to cancel it because she didn't need it anymore.

    Here's what she's done. She's notified the police about what has been going on without explicitly pointing a finger and notified them of the missing ring. She's frozen her bank accounts, changed her passwords, about to change her locks, etc. She's completely restored her computer (losing everything she had, baby pictures, modeling pictures, journals, etc. We haven't been dating long enough for me to help her out with back ups. My bad) What she's worried about is retribution. If she presses charges she worried she may have planted something (drugs or whatever) in her house already and then lose her child over that. At this moment she doesn't have solid proof that it was her, other than the timing of everything.

    I kept thinking if she's planted anything in her house, it won't have Sarah's fingerprints on it and if it's proven that she did do all of this, that it could be reasonable suspicion that it was just planted and Sarah had nothing to do with it. She works a lot (at a hospital) and is raising a kid so she doesn't have the time or energy to tear her house completely apart looking for something that may or may not be there.

    What is our best route here in pursuing this? Sarah's also scared of this girl having her friends come and continue to harass her, mess with her car, try and hurt her or her child. If she somehow lost her kid over this, she would be devastated obviously. He's about the only good thing left in her life. I live about 2 hours away and go to school and work as well so it's not always easy for me to get out there. I've only met this girl once so far and I never would have suspected it. Sarah happened to talk to someone randomly that knew her and mentioned that she has done stuff like this before, basically moved around different places in our state like this.

    I want this ***** in jail. It's caused an unbelievable amount of stress and heart ache for Sarah and I feel helpless being away from her right now. I'm trying to do anything I can. Are there any law professionals or cops in here that might have some advice?
     
  2. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
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    #2
    It sounds to me like you have covered all the bases here. The Police will take it on.

    Double check that your GF has contacted ALL banks, iTunes Apple it's sometimes easy to overlook stuff like that. As frustrating as it is, your only other course of action is to contact and pay for a Private Detective.

    Sounds to me like this girl is no stranger to crime, and has probably taken advantage of peoples good nature before.

    I hope that you get her caught.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
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    #3
    I don't know if either of us could afford a private detective at the moment. I've never looked into their cost/fees. I want to use my free time to go over there and do it myself. I was intelligence analyst. I got this. haha.

    I'm just so pissed right now that people take advantage like this. Has the patients to go on for a year to gain her trust and then destroys it along with her ability to pretty much trust anyone else or be nice to anyone else for a long time.
     
  4. macrumors G5

    Macman45

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    #4
    All we can do is wish you well, and hope that your GF's faith in human nature will be restored. It's happened to me in the passed, so I do understand.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #5
    I hate people who do this. Please give us updates as things progress if only for the schadenfreude.
     
  6. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #6
    Man, this is a perfect example of, "No good deed goes unpunished." I'm sorry this is happening to your girlfriend. I hope it all works out.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

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    #7
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'll try to keep you updated. I emailed my former Captain from the National Guard as he is a lawyer. Hopefully I'll hear back from him soon.
     
  8. macrumors G5

    Macman45

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    #8
    Hang in there, and remember that your GF is going to need a lot of TLC.
     
  9. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #9
    You might also want to have your girlfriend sign up with Lifelock to possibly help prevent any further damage.
     
  10. Guest

    725032

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #10
    As you've stated there's no solid evidence.

    I doubt the police will waste much time on this.

    I think its a case of lesson learnt. Sarah needs to be more careful who she lets in her home, especially with children around.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

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    #11
    It was one of her best friends of over a year who also has kids. She had no reason to deny them a place to stay. She's previously been supportive emotionally for her. She sounds like a professional con artist to me.
     
  12. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #12
    Wow this is pretty scary. Don't have any advice but good luck.

    I guess you can't trust anyone these days. I'll start being more careful even if I think I'm with trustable friends :eek:
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #13
    Just heard more wonderful news today. After talking to AT&T for several hours more it was discovered that this girl somehow hacked into her phone and sounds like she was able to mimic it? I'm not entirely clear on what happened. AT&T could see that another person or device had access to it. They changed her number and as soon as she did, they could see the other person or device already gained access. Sarah told me she had taken the information from the phone and registered it in her name. I'm getting all of this information from short phone calls when she has time so I'm not able to get clarification on a lot of stuff.

    Someone had came to her front door last night at 3 am and was trying to open it and when Sarah got up and walked towards it they ran off. Today her house was broken into (Sarah always says it was her, so I assume she knows what she's talking about) and a few more small items were stolen, but she didn't elaborate. This woman had either attempted or successfully opened up some type of bills in Sarah's name in Nashville, TN, Bartlesville, OK, and somewhere in California. Again I wasn't able to clarify if she was successful in this.

    She had the cops over again today and told them about the break in and everything that AT&T told her and yet they are still unwilling to do anything about it yet. They wouldn't issue a restraining order because they didn't feel it was life threatening. Wtf? Seriously? All they said they would do is try to patrol more in her area. I know this woman won't stop messing with her until she's either bled her accounts dry or is put in jail.

    That was all I got so far in this last short phone call. In regards to the different accounts being opening up, I'm trying to figure out if she's put a freeze on her credit or not yet. She's got her mom coming over tonight at least.

    What's the minimum sentence for murder again? Wayne Brady wants to go choke a b****.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

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    #14
    One option I suggest is to forward all mail to a PO box, and then move somewhere else, it doesn't need to be far.

    Or get a dog. Animals know when they have rescued and seem eager to return the favor. Retired police dogs can be very menacing, so if you happen to have an extra one around somewhere...
     
  15. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    If she stays there she should have the locks changed immediately. Close out the phone account and open one with a different carrier. Change all passwords. Get a PO Box. Join Lifelock or similar. Contact bank, credit cards, etc. and have them put a fraud alert on the accounts.

    Good luck.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
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    #16
    I've never heard anything good about life lock.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
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    #17
    She is working on getting a new place soon. She's hoping to be out of this house by the middle of next month. Thanks again for all your suggestions, they've been passed on. I told her about getting a different phone because her's is obviously compromised. Would putting a fraud alert on her credit, bank hinder the process of getting a new place? I think she's just looking at apartments right now, not a entirely new house.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #18
    Apartments would actually be the best option. Plenty of people to notice a break in. Use a PO box! She will have a more difficult time finding your girlfriend. As for the phone, what OS is she using? If it is iOS, it's unlikely, but technically possible. Disable find my friends completely and comb over everything on iCloud. Put the phone in DFU mode and nuke it on a computer. Set it up as a new phone. She will only be able to have the account, but not the phone itself, tampered with after that.

    If she is an android user, Avast is free and very thorough, but may cause problems with stability.

    It it is a feature phone, that con is a damn genius.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
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    #19
    It's an iPhone. She mentioned a bit ago that she actually able to see where this girl was instead of where Sarah's phone actually is. But yeah. I don't know what the hell this girl did and I'd sure like to know how she accomplished what she did.
     
  20. macrumors G5

    Macman45

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    #20
    The trouble is the police have to take into account the public interest ( IE costs) of tracking this horrible woman down....Maybe it's time for your GF to move house? It's going to get worse if this damn person keeps coming back, and yes, I too think she probably has a record as long as her arm. A pro for sure...Nasty situation.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #21
    If your girlfriend has a Mac, buy a copy of witness. It is a silent alarm that will take pictures when it detects motion and send a snapshot to your girlfriend. The con sounds clever, but I'm willing to bet she will return at some point. Having that photo could really put the thumbscrews to the police department.

    Or you could buy some bear traps on eBay.
     
  22. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
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    #22
    And then you face class action...It sounds drastic, but moving sounds like the best course of action...I'm no matchmaker, but why not propose? 2 can after all live as cheaply as 1 and your GF's mind would be taken away from the current situation!
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #23
    I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me and intruder has no reasonable expectation of privacy. Therefore, surveillance would not welcome a lawsuit.

    As for the beartrap, that's more of a scorched earth strategy.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #24
    I welcome your ideas on this bear trap :)

    And that's a nice thought on the proposal but we just started dating back in October (we grew up together all through elementary and high school but were never more than friends).

    She does not have a mac. I'm not sure on the make of it, but it's a tower PC that she said was only a couple years old. I don't know that her monitor even has a built in web cam or anything. Like I said earlier. She's trying to get out of that house soon.

    The cops have at least been keeping up on their word about patrolling more. She's seen them drive past several times tonight. I'm supposed to see her Saturday so hopefully I'll be able to have a long talk about exactly what's going on and if there's any further ways to find solid proof to press charges with. I'll update then if there's anything else.
     
  25. mentaluproar, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #25
    For what it's worth, when she goes to replace her locks, there is a kind of lock you can quickly and easily rekey. I forget the company that makes it, but out-of-the-box it comes with three different keys. They're regular keys and can be copied at any hardware store. I mention this because if she has to change it a second time, she won't have to go out and buy entirely new locks. We used them a few years back when we had a problem with an undesirable sibling.
     

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