When I was 19 years old, my identity was stolen. Well, I say "stolen." This happened in 1999, well before the internet was the robust hate machine it is today. It was very easy to pretend to be someone else and it was impossible to rebuild the life and credit score stolen by a thief. The crook in question was a new friend from Germany who just needed a little help setting up her apartment. That help came in the form of my very American social security number. Hello it's me, a naive idiot!
Not only was she able to successfully turn on all utilities in her new pad, but my pal was also able to take out several credit cards in my name. I didn't have one myself and if anyone is going to decimate my credit, it better be me. Alas, it took years to fix and I never got a credit card because of it. So, I understand how Melody Rose feels as she details her battles with identity theft in a series of rage-inducing TikToks. Has someone checked Germany for this person?
This woman can't prove who she is with her own license.
Melody, who goes by @melodysrose on TikTok, found herself in a horrifying pickle when she had to prove to Equifax that she wasn't responsible for some major purchases. When the consumer credit reporting agency asked Melody to send over a copy of her license, they didn't believe she was the same person in the photo.
"This is your reminder to not be a bad b---- in your driver's license," says a tearful Melody in her TikTok. "Because when you have to confirm your identity to like Equifax or something ... they're gonna be like 'You're not who you say you are.'" Truthfully, Melody does look like a bad b----, and it's kind of victim blamey to suggest we all can't look like bad b------ in our license photos because scammers are gonna scam regardless.
The main difference between 2023 Melody and the Melody in her license is, she's blond in her older photo. Other than that, these are clearly the same people. She was able to find the addresses used by the person who got credit cards in her name and of course, Melody has never been anywhere near these places. The issue now is, the cards cannot be removed from her credit report because Equifax cannot confirm her identify.
In a follow-up TikTok, Melody revealed that she googled one of the addresses and discovered it's stunning. "Supposedly I live in a place with floor-to-ceiling windows, and that's my view of downtown LA," she said, gesturing to a jaw-dropping view that is somehow sans smog.
Somehow Melody still has a sense of humor about the whole thing as she jokingly says she's gonna "plop myself down on my fancy couch in my fancy apartment." She finishes off by asking, "Do I look like I live here?"
Someone in the comments suggested Melody file a police report online, go to a social security office and put a pin on her number, and then check the Employment Development Department for her work history. Perhaps that will prove she never lived at either addresses listed on the credit cards?
In response to those suggestions, Melody filmed another TikTok. "First and foremost, great tips," she said. "I needed those tips ... about four or five years ago." Sadly this advice won't help Melody as the "stuff that this scammer got in my name has already been sent to collections." To make matters worse, she is also being sued for the $23,000 owed on the credit cards.
Even though that well-meaning person wasn't very helpful, others jumped into the replies to share similar stories they ended up fixing. "You can still do it," said one hopeful commenter. "This happened to me and I went through the identify theft steps through Identity Theft dot gov. I had to prove who I was and prove my address from the years the person took the apartment or whatever. It was a lot of documentation and it happened twice to me." Melody was already on top of that as well.
More than one person suggested she find a lawyer but obviously they can very pricey. For now, Melody has to wait until her court date in April 2024. She mentioned in the replies that the scammer was already in prison so at least they can't do any more damage. In the meantime, I'm lighting a candle for Melody who will definitely be a bad b---- again someday.