Dear Snarky – My Sister Stole My Identity

Dear Snarky, 

I’m in shock over what my sister has done to my life. Six months ago I found out that someone had opened a bunch of credit cards (14 to be exact) in my name and had charged almost $51,000. I’m 27 and while I have a good job I don’t make anywhere near the kind of money to be able to pay that off.

This whole nightmare started when I noticed my credit rating had taken a nose-dive due to the number of credit cards in my name and also due to me not making any kind of payment on the 14 credit cards I didn’t know existed.

 I totally freaked out and started the long and painful process of working with the credit card companies to get the cards cancelled and then disputing the charges because I didn’t open the accounts. 

I also hired an attorney who specializes in identity fraud to help me get this mess figured out and to make sure I was doing everything right so whoever stole my identity would be stopped. When the attorney called to tell me that it was my sister who perpetrated the fraud I freaked out. 

A detective they hired had gone to some of the stores where the biggest charges had been made and got a description of the person making the purchases. With that information they went to the P.O. Box (also taken out in my name) that the credit cards and the bills had been going to and after pulling up a picture of my sister on social media the owner of the P.O. Box store confirmed that it was my sister who got the P.O. Box.

This all led to more “due diligence” and after the law firm was 100 percent sure that it was my sister they contacted me and told me I needed to tell the police. So, that’s what I did. 

Yes, she is my sister, but my credit rating was ruined (as in say goodbye to buying a house or getting a car loan or any other kind of credit) and most of the credit card companies were still demanding payment. My attorney said the only way I could get the credit card companies to void payment was to prove it wasn’t me and the only way to do that was to involve the police.

Now my family is Mad at ME! Not my sister (who got my SS# when we were both filling out passport forms together) but me for turning her in and pressing charges because it “looks bad for the family,” “is embarrassing” and I’m “ruining my sister’s life.”

Also, it’s not like anyone in my family has offered to pay off the credit cards that were illegally taken out in my name or pay for the lawyer I had to hire etc. etc. 

I’m seriously at a loss about how I’m the bad guy and my sister is now the victim wearing designer clothes she purchased on the cards she took out in my name and carrying a $4,000 Louis Vuitton bag that she charged on those illegal cards.

Am I in the wrong here? Also, I feel like if I don’t drop the charges, I’m going to lose my family. What do you think the right move is here?

Signed, Totally Destroyed

Dear Destroyed,

Wow, this is so messed up and I’m very sorry this happened to you. Because I don’t know the backstory of your family dynamics and your sister’s past behavior (i.e. Does she have a history of being a thieving devious bitch?) I’m going to just focus on what’s right and what’s wrong.

What is right is alerting authorities to a theft of more than $50,000. That is a big chunk of change. Add in that the fifty grand wasn’t just taken from money that you had hidden under your mattress, so to speak, but was perpetrated through stealing your identity and charging up sums that you don’t have the financial means to pay back adds an extra layer of heinous behavior.

What is wrong is your family choosing to ignore your sister’s despicable and illegal actions and instead making you the villain. Also, they have a whole lot of nerve asking you to drop the charges without any offer of paying back what your sister stole from you. Meanwhile, your sister has apparently zero shame showing off the designer loot she illegally procured from stealing your identity. Could she rub her atrocious behavior in your face any harder?

I believe you are absolutely pursuing the correct course of action and I’m proud of you. As for your family, well, right about now, I think you need a better one. You should proceed working with law enforcement and if your family continues to be the hugest of idiots then so be it. At this point you’re better off without them and I think deep down you already know that.

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They’re broke, bitter, and not ready to give up without a fight.

Three middle-aged women, who have seen their carefully crafted lives take a precipitous financial plunge, forge an unlikely friendship while getting paid to take part in a clinical trial for a new menopause drug. The trio spends a month sequestered at a pharmaceutical testing facility that has all the charm of a nail salon inside a Walmart, and bond over their anger and disbelief that their only hope for some quick cash is leveraging the remaining estrogen they have lurking in their ovaries. 

Each of these women has a recent story of their existence hurtling to hell. Maria had a career catastrophe so epic that googling her name is now painful. Cassie’s extreme vanity took an ugly turn and Julie’s husband didn’t just walk out on their marriage, he disappeared with all the money

Once they become roommates, this cadre of unlikely friends merge their talents to find Julie’s missing husband and her half of the “marital assets.” Maria has major accounting mojo, Julie has connections, and Cassie, a former soap opera actress, has acquired an assortment of shady skills during her Hollywood tenure.

As they plot, scheme, and embark on an adventure to find an AWOL spouse, they learn how to fight back against a world they believe deems them old and insignificant and, in the process, discover that fifty is when life gets fun, especially when you can get even.