Bloomberg journalist Drew Armstrong wrote an article about the time his identity was stolen by an illegal alien and how it wrecked his financial life. The illegal alien opened several bank accounts under his name, registered a business in Florida under his name, and sold an RV to a Texas couple for just under $40k. He was later notified by police and asked if he had ever lived in Florida. When he said no, they told him they were investigating a stolen identity case. He was later turned down for a credit card and a mortgage. It took him six years to clear his credit and good name. He found out that between 2012 and 2016, 39 million people had their identities stolen by illegal aliens.
My identity was stolen in 2013, though I didn’t find out until later. It started in Florida—which has more than its fair share of scams—but our economy of convenience is such that it really could have happened anywhere. The details of the theft are laid out in a federal indictment against a man named Marlen Manukyan. Using a fake driver’s license—my name, his photo—he went from bank to bank over three days in August that year setting up accounts at TD Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. He registered a business with the Florida Department of State and opened another Wells Fargo account for his—well, I guess “our”—new company. He told the bank he was in auto sales. [Emphasis added]
A few days afterward, over Craigslist, he sold an RV to two people in Sugar Land, Texas. The Texans wired $39,960 to him. Four days later he wired their money to Russia. The Texans never got their RV. The Sunny Isles Beach police called me a few months later. They wanted to know if I’d ever lived in Florida—I hadn’t—and told me they were investigating a case of identity theft. [Emphasis added]
Manukyan’s wreckage, however, began to intrude into my financial life: For example, I was denied a new credit card. I began to realize how bad it was when my wife and I went to a Wells Fargo to open a joint account. “Welcome back, Mr. Armstrong. I see you already have several accounts with us,” the teller said. I’d never set foot inside a Wells Fargo. [Emphasis added]