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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

No job, no house for these victims of criminal identity theft

If Peter Galucci hadn’t been the curious type, there’s no telling how long it would have taken Marc Paul Griffith to get a job. He’d already applied for jobs with five other police agencies in Oregon, and been rejected each time.


Those disappointments, coupled with the denial of Marc and Rachel Griffith’s mortgage application, had the Griffiths flummoxed; they’d always been very responsible and paid all their bills on time. Marc’s resume was impeccable. He was in the Air Force and had just completed a tour of duty in Iraq as an airman. Why weren’t things working out for them?


When Galucci, a sheriff’s background investigator compared that impeccable resume to Griffith’s rap sheet, things just didn’t add up. Galucci’s investigation revealed that Griffith had a history of unpaid hospital, phone and utility bills, unresolved traffic violations, a suspended driver’s license and outstanding arrest warrants.


The only plausible explanation was identity theft.


Travelle “Cash” Bradford, of Phoenix, was stopped for a traffic violation last week, and presented Griffith’s insurance number and paperwork. He was arrested and charged with identity theft and forgery.


Some of the Griffith’s prayers have been answered--Griffith finally a job as a sheriff’s deputy in Clackamas County—but they still have a questions about what happened to them.


They were always careful to tear up their mail before disposing of it, and they’ve never so much as driven through Phoenix. So how did Bradford get Marc Paul Griffith’s personal information? Like most identity theft victims, the Griffiths will probably never find out how it happened.


For now they’re living with their kids and dogs in a third floor apartment in a neighborhood that scares them both. So many of their neighbors have been arrested that Griffith changes into his sheriff’s deputy uniform at work, just to avoid trouble.


Rachel Griffith has a new full-time job, too. She works full time trying to resolve the legal and financial problems left in the wake of the identity theft. There are only four more fraudulent accounts to close out, and she figures that should take only about six more months.

Published Mar 29 2009, 10:51 PM by IdentityTheft
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