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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:04 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
This is a really tough situation. I'm not sure I could call the police or file charges against my mom. On the other hand, if my mom or sister pulled something like this I would want to take some type of action. I agree with others that suggest a credit freeze on your wife's credit report so you can hopefully stop future fraud. Here in Fla. you can request a credit freeze (it costs a few bucks) without being a victim of fraud. If you have to be a fraud victim in order to get a credit freeze in your state that may require a police report. Does a police report = mom and sis going to jail, I have no idea but probably something you need to figure out. Maybe you could speak with a police officer or a state attorney in your area to get a sense of what would likely happen if your wife filed a police report.

I like the previous suggestion of giving mom and sis 30 days to fix the situation before taking action. I would want to give them a chance to do the right thing.

Good luck to you and your wife.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:18 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Sam wrote:
I like the previous suggestion of giving mom and sis 30 days to fix the situation before taking action.


As others have said, if she delays in informing the credit card company, her options will be limited. If she reports the fraud now, she will not be held liable, and it will be up to the credit card company to recover the money or eat the loss. However, now that she knows about it (and they know she knows), if she does not report it as fraud, she cannot change her mind and report it in a month. The credit card company will hold her liable for the debt, and it will be entirely up to her to come up with the money. The clock is ticking. In fact, it may even already be too late.

I'd wager that credit card companies are much better at getting money from people than the OP would be. I'd report it and let them do the dirty work or eat the loss.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:08 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:48 am
Posts: 286
rxchick wrote:
I feel very bad for your wife in this situation, and like a previous poster, I think it would be a bad idea for you to force her to take action against her family. I dearly love my husband, but I also love my parents and siblings no matter how badly they treat me. I don't think I could report them to the police over money - even this much money. Do they have a car or something else of value they can "give" you until they pay off the $17,000? If they have no assets and are unwilling to pay you back, I would protect myself from this in the future but pay off the money myself. I would let your wife know that if they do this again, you will be forced to take legal action. Your marriage and your wife are more important than this money. You don't want her to end up resenting you even though you are right and her mother and sister are wrong.


As much as I'd love to agree with you, I don't think relying on karma is a good plan.

In an ideal world, they would realize that what they did was wrong, that stealing 17,000 dollars from a family member is not good. And when the family member finds out, they say, "Well, that was not very nice! But I'm not going to report you for it, I'll let you go. Just don't do it again." The thieves would be terrified that their karma is now terrible, and will try to do something good to make up for it. They give their car to hold on to as a token of good faith (even though that will probably limit their money-making abilities and now the car just sits there unused). Meanwhile, the victim's kids no longer have a college fund. They will have to borrow their way through college. But, at least they have 17k better karma.

Enter the real world, where not reporting them may enable them to steal from someone else and ruin someone else's life. Filing a police report will protect the victim's (and non thieving) family and the thieves will have to pay back what they owe. Besides, it's just money, right?

If you're so worried about resentment in the marriage, ever think of the OP and maybe HE will begin resenting his WIFE for not reporting them? I agree, protect the marriage and report them, they won't go to jail and they will now have 17k in debt, exactly as if they had spent their own money. What's so terrible about that?


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 Post subject: Limited Options...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:23 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:43 am
Posts: 2
Location: Phoenix, AZ
I read this story in Google Reader and I had to come register and make a comment... Your wife and her Family have VERY limited options. I'm a manager for a bank in a department that would be responsible for working exactly the situation you find yourself in. I will outline what I think are your limited choices and why...

Option #1 - Have the accounts voluntarily closed (not for fraud) and pay them back, accepting any finance charges etc that accompany this. This is probably the least painful of all options, but also the most costly... and as mentioned by other posters, this option does not punish the family members for their wrongdoing and almost encourages them to continue. Usually when we see people try and take this road the family members that have taken advantage of the others usually ends up doing it again and again to more and more people.
Option #2 - Report the accounts as Fraudulent Applications (which they are), and acknowledge that you know whom is responsible for opening them. This is really the most honest option, but also costly. The bank will close the accounts, but since you know whom perpetrated the fraud against your wife the bank will NOT wipe the debt free and will expect for you to make a choice. The bank will either want you to file charges against your relatives and they would help you press charges to recover the funds or if you refuse to press charges then they will hold you responsible for the balances.
Option #3 - Report the accounts as Fraudulent Applications, but claim you are not aware of who opened them up in your name. This option would technically keep you free and clear of responsibility for the balances, unless the investigators for the bank are able to find the link between who opened the account and your wife, in which case they will force you down Option #2. Trust me when I say that banks have TONS of tools at their disposal that if used correctly can find out every aspect of not only your life, but your friends and family as well.

One thing that I hadn't mentioned yet that is a part of both Option 2 & 3 is what is called a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report). ALL BANKS are REQUIRED to file what is called a SAR with the federal government on all fraudulent claims totaling $10,000 or more. What does this mean? It means that forevermore the people that are listed as suspects are in a government database for this fraudulent deception... and if they are ever prosecuted for any sort of financial crime this information from the SAR will be added into their charges then as well.

I know that none of these options really sound good, but you will have to make a decision soon as to what you will have to do. You might get lucky and be able to sneak out without the bank finding the link between your wife and her family but they also might find it and then it will look especially bad and could prevent you from attaining credit with this bank or its subsidiaries in the future. Your wife needs to make a decision on what is more important to her.. her family or her future... Good Luck either way...


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Options...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:35 am
Posts: 1444
deviant.d wrote:
Option #3 - Report the accounts as Fraudulent Applications, but claim you are not aware of who opened them up in your name. This option would technically keep you free and clear of responsibility for the balances, unless the investigators for the bank are able to find the link between who opened the account and your wife, in which case they will force you down Option #2. Trust me when I say that banks have TONS of tools at their disposal that if used correctly can find out every aspect of not only your life, but your friends and family as well.


um, this isn't a wise recommendation whatsoever. you are recommending that someone lie about a fraud case when reporting a fraud, which makes the person reporting the fraud committing fraud. and since you are claiming to be a relative authority on the subject matter and if someone takes your advice, given that you are a manager in a bank in the department that would handle such things, then you could conceivably be putting yourself in jeopardy for advising someone to lie or in this case commit fraud. now, they could simply not volunteer information that wasn't specifically asked; however, if specifically asked, they could be advised by their counsel not to answer or answer the question forthrightly. you being a manager working in that department would also know that these conversations would undoubtedly be recorded by the bank, of course the bank would make it known and ask the person permission to record the conversation if they were potentially going to use the conversation in order to prosecute the fraud case.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:10 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:43 am
Posts: 2
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Well good to see that someone is still watching this...

googoo, thank you for your very astute response. I guess that my very subtle hint in option #3 was a little too subtle for some...

Quote:
Trust me when I say that banks have TONS of tools at their disposal that if used correctly can find out every aspect of not only your life, but your friends and family as well.


This little blurb means that claiming no knowledge is possible, its not recommended since a GOOD fraud investigator can easily find every aspect of your life, and your friends and families life therefore finding the link... Since neither I nor the original poster gave the name of the banks involved so I couldn't offer my professional opinion on them. I have worked for 3 total banks in the last 10 years and family members of mine have worked in several banks that I haven't so I feel that I have a fairly good understanding as to how most of the larger banks process fraudulent claims.

Also given the situations that were disclosed by the original poster, the fact that "most" calls are recorded doesn't even matter. The paper trail that would be available would be unbelievably simple to follow... Not to mention that a good investigator would have order security photos from the merchants, found a copy of their relatives drivers license etc.. case closed.

So... having said all of this you could have called my original comment irresponsible.. or you could call it future entertainment in the works.. since people involved in banking love to share stories such as these so we can all get a good laugh... but that would be irresponsible as well...


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Options...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:06 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:19 pm
Posts: 620
googoo wrote:
deviant.d wrote:
Option #3 - Report the accounts as Fraudulent Applications, but claim you are not aware of who opened them up in your name. This option would technically keep you free and clear of responsibility for the balances, unless the investigators for the bank are able to find the link between who opened the account and your wife, in which case they will force you down Option #2. Trust me when I say that banks have TONS of tools at their disposal that if used correctly can find out every aspect of not only your life, but your friends and family as well.


um, this isn't a wise recommendation whatsoever. you are recommending that someone lie about a fraud case when reporting a fraud, which makes the person reporting the fraud committing fraud. and since you are claiming to be a relative authority on the subject matter and if someone takes your advice, given that you are a manager in a bank in the department that would handle such things, then you could conceivably be putting yourself in jeopardy for advising someone to lie or in this case commit fraud. now, they could simply not volunteer information that wasn't specifically asked; however, if specifically asked, they could be advised by their counsel not to answer or answer the question forthrightly. you being a manager working in that department would also know that these conversations would undoubtedly be recorded by the bank, of course the bank would make it known and ask the person permission to record the conversation if they were potentially going to use the conversation in order to prosecute the fraud case.


I don't think he was so much recommending it, as noting it as an option, along with the resulting bad consequences. Some people here have already recommended it, so I think it's fair to discuss.

Having worked in a similar department in a bank... Yeah, that would be remarkably dumb.

I had not actually thought of consulting a lawyer, but that might be a really good idea. Maybe one with experience in family law -- simply because they'd understand the twisted mess a little better?


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