Sibling Identity Theft

Jim thinks his brother stole his identity. He's being told it's a family issue. Dave tells him it's a criminal issue.

QUESTION: Jim in San Antonio thinks his brother stole his identity. Jim went to get a new phone, and he was unable to do it without a large deposit. He’s also received a high electric bill from Michigan, where he’s never lived. He’s being told it’s a family issue. Dave tells him it’s a criminal issue.

ANSWER: Taking your brother to court is not your problem. That’s DTE’s problem. Your identity was stolen. Tell DTE if you go to court, it’s because you’re going to sue them for $10 million. I’m getting ready to go after them with my ears laid back and bust somebody in the nose over there. That’s ridiculous! If I open up an account for electricity in your name in Tennessee—you live in Texas—and the Tennessee electric company comes back and says, “Oh, you have to take the guy who stole your identity to court,” no you don’t. You weren’t defrauded; they were. It’s their problem.

This is not a family matter. It’s an identity theft matter. You need to get somebody in a supervisory role over there and tell them, “I’m going to sue you personally as well as your electric company if you don’t straighten this out by the end of the day. I’m coming after you.” It’s not up to you to straighten this out, and it’s not a family matter. It’s a criminal matter. You’ve filed a police report, and your identity was stolen. Just because you happen to know who the crook is does not change it, and just because the crook happens to be your brother does not change it. They absolutely have to clean this up. They do not have a choice. It’s basic law. You don’t owe any money. You didn’t sign up for this.

I think what you got was an idiot on the phone on the first round, and I think you’ve got to go up a couple of layers. If not, then if I’m you, I am hiring an attorney and going after them because you don’t owe a dime here. Then I’m going to sue them for attorney’s fees, too. I don’t want to go to court and deal with all this stuff, but that’s just bureaucratic bull. You simply do not owe the money.