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Ask Dave

His Dad Is A Thief

Joe has a grandson enlisted in the Navy. Joe got a call from a collections agency asking for Joe's grandson. Joe's grandson's father is using a credit card in his son's name.

QUESTION: Joe in San Antonio has a grandson who enlisted in the Navy about a year and a half ago. For the past six months, he’s been on a ship. Joe got a call from a collections agency asking for Joe’s grandson. It turns out Joe’s grandson’s father is using a credit card in his son’s name. Dave recommends that Joe’s grandson give Joe a power of attorney and file a police report.

ANSWER: Here’s what we need to do. Number one, he needs to send you a power of attorney. Number two, on his behalf, you need to file a police report. You need to name Dad on the police report. You need to tell the police to go talk to Dad and pick him up and put him in jail if he doesn’t stop doing this. I’m pretty sure he’s going to jail if he keeps it up. Even if they don’t arrest him, they need to scare the bejesus out of him and get him back on his heels because something needs to stop him from this ridiculous mental illness of his. I don’t buy that he doesn’t know he’s stealing his own son’s identity, who’s serving in our military. This makes me so mad I can’t see. This is a good way for your grandson’s dad to lose his law license.

Go buy Zander’s identity theft coverage, and that will cover you for anything else that happens from this day forward. It won’t help you clean up the past. You can handle this one account by calling that bank with the power of attorney. Ask for their fraud victim division. Get them a copy of the police report. Tell them that Dad is who we think stole it. Give them Dad’s name and tell them they can contact him. Turn him into them. Turn him into the police.

Your grandson doesn’t owe any money. You’ve just got to convince Capital One. It’s going to be a pain in the butt because they’re so large and so bureaucratic, and they so don’t care about customers. They don’t care that they allowed this to happen, because it’s their fault. They didn’t check anybody’s credit.

I would also freeze his credit so that his credit can’t be used by anyone who attempts to check his credit. Capital One will issue a credit card without even checking your credit. Freezing it alone wouldn’t have stopped that, but it will at least keep some of them out, and then you’ve got to work through this one by yourself. The folks at Zander will teach you how to do that. They’ll teach you how to get the affidavits filled out, work with the fraud victim division at Capital One, and it’s going to take 30 phone calls. This is not going to be easy because when you’re dealing with Capital One, you’re not dealing with intelligent life. It’s just going to be a pain in the butt, but you can clean it up for him if he is willing to send you a power of attorney and you take those steps.

Before you do any of this, you need to be very sure it is not him—that he didn’t go get a Capital One card. Make sure that that didn’t happen as well. Once you get all of that in place, you can help him work his way through this.