Man Speaks Out on Living with a Stolen Identity
WESLACO – After years of torment, one family is finally starting to feel relief after a man who stole the husband’s identity was booked into jail Thursday afternoon.
The alleged suspect used the man’s identity to get cell phones and credit cards.
According to authorities, he even used the alias when he was ticketed for driving while intoxicated.
“I just went to renew my license. Not to get arrested or get a $500 ticket,” Alfredo Alvarez explained to CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Alvarez spoke to us from his hotel room in Iowa where he and his wife Kimberly are working in the agriculture field.
They said they first learned Alfredo’s identity was compromised when they tried to file their taxes five years ago. Clearing his name has been a burden.
“Every single year we have to go to the IRS and take off every single job that isn’t his,” explained Kimberly. “Every single year we have to go and check his tickets, to see which tickets are his. Every year we have to waste more and more money, because we work in Iowa and live in Iowa, to go to Texas and fix the problems.”
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department said identity theft like this is all too common, but you may not realize it’s even happened.
Alfredo said his social security card and birth certificate were stolen from his mom’s purse 10 years ago.
In 2013, he and his wife tried to finance a house. Alfredo didn’t qualify because of low credit.
Then in 2014 when he was working in Kansas, he was met with a surprise when he tried to renew his license.
“I could not renew my license due to a $600 ticket, that I was driving a Jaguar, I had a DWI with a minor and that’s when I freaked out, because I never had a Jaguar,” said Alvarez.
He added that he does not drink alcohol.
The DWI was from Texas. Alfredo came back to the state to take care of it. That’s when he had to explain to the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department that it wasn’t him.
A detective with the sheriff’s office specializing in identity theft cases worked with the district attorney to help Alfredo get the charges removed from his record.
They said things like this can happen when someone has fraudulent or stolen documents or they use alias names.
The sheriff’s office said the most important thing to do when something like this happens is to file a report with the law enforcement agency right away.
If the person who’s stolen your identity commits a crime, try to find supporting documents to show it wasn’t you.
Next, contact all three credit bureaus: Transunion, Equifax and Experian to report the fraud. The IRS has an Identity Theft Affidavit you should fill out – Form 14039.
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Investigators confirm a man believed to be the alleged suspect is behind bars. He was arrested in El Paso on a warrant issued by Hidalgo County.
The Alvarez’s don’t know if he understands how much trouble he’s caused them.
“Three years ago I needed an emergency surgery to get my gallbladder removed,” explained Kimberly. “When I got there they told me my Medicaid was canceled, because my husband made too much money. So now I owe the hospital like $5,000 for the surgery that I have to pay for.”
Now they wait to find out what will happen next.
The sheriff’s office provided CHANNEL 5 NEWS with documents to help in case anyone thinks they’ve fallen victim to identity theft.
Declaration of Misuse ID
FTC ID THEFT AFFIDAVIT
NEW IRS AFF Form-14039
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