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September 22, 2009


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If a person going through my garbage stole my identity and made unauthorized purchases, I wouldn't feel responsible for paying for those charges. Why should I feel responsible if someone in my household stole from me?

Oh, P.S.: filing an identity theft report does not mean that you have to press criminal charges.

I don't know if you necessarily have to press charges to file a claim. I think it may depend on the nature of the identity theft. I've had fraudulent charges on a credit card and the credit card company removed it without much incident or argument. Another time an ex-roommate tried to use my card and I think I filed an affidavit about it but I didn't explicitly press any charges But if someone took out a card in my name, ran up bills, and trashed my credit then it may take a lot more.

Personally I'm not going to throw a loved one in jail because of one incident over some money. Sure they lose my trust and it is bad but pressing criminal charges for one mistake is going too far. I would however let them know that a 2nd time would result in me pressing charges.

Pretty sure you need to take a hard stance on this. The family member (or friend) should be confronted, and if they do not fully compensate you within a week it's time to take further action.

I can't see a relationship surviving this, but that's just me.

Thanks for your comments - you are right, you don't have to press charges in every case of identity theft. However, filing a police report may lead to an investigation and when asked by authorities, you are somewhat obligated to speak candidly - something that can land your loved one in hot water.

But as Jim pointed out, it's not often worth the time of a lender or a police department to launch an investigation.

There's no way I'd pay for debt taken out fraudulently in my name, irrespective of who was responsible. Fraud is fraud, and I'm not liable for it.

That said, I'm in the UK so our laws might be a touch different?

I've had this problem in the past and it caused me tons of credit issues.

Having a family member that steals from you is a sign of lack of communication. If I'm the head of the family and I sensed that there's something wrong with my credit cards, I'll try to talk to all the members about the issue. In the first place, I should know most of my family members stuff. Is there a sign of your son's sudden change in behavior? Maybe you should investigate about it. Perhaps the reason is a new vice or some other kinds of behavior-affecting problem. It will be solved I think if a family always collaborate on things...

I have experienced minor and major theft from my adult children. I wonder how common this is. No other way to handle it than to forgive but not quite forget.

This is difficult to deal with. i have been dealing with fraud and defamation by my brother and and his wife for a lifetime and it has destroyed me. it's difficult to deal with it and try to forgive, specially when it means losing my inheritance and home. if i let them win i lose it all, if i walk away i lose, if i fight i'm insane. there's no winning. so if this happens to you be tough, confront them at the first whisper of wrongdoing and if they do not accept responsibility put them in Jail. it's the only way to deal with such circumstances. you lose your family member or friend but receive peace in the bargain.

Law enforcement considers family identity theft to be a "family issue". I know this because, four years after finding out that my own family stole my identity when I was a child and started a trust instrument with it (I am 57 now), I am still watching my identity get sold in Southern California over and over and over again. No one will take the signing power away from the liars and thieves.

It is an absolute travesty, what this country has become.

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