Last month my identity was stolen. It might not have been such an excruciatingly horrid experience if it were not for the fact that we are smack dab in the middle of buying our dream property—you know, with the necessary credit checks, title searches, folks googling our names to be sure we are who we say we are. It is only by chance that we discovered my stolen identity, as it is in most cases. There is no Stolen Identity Bureau of the government who notifies us when our social security number has been used illicitly.
The nightmare began when we attempted to file our tax returns electronically, like we have for years. To our surprise the system rejected our returns because someone had previously filed using my social security number. We are lucky because the fake return was rejected, which means the thief did not receive our refund. We are unlucky because our refund will now be held up for 180 days while the IRS proceeds to confirm I am who I say I am. And unlucky because we were forced to file via snail mail (certified & registered) – complete with an affidavit, a form explaining what happened, the police report case number, and copies of my social security card and passport. Continue reading