Well, one of my letters paid off— a delightful and unexpected turn of events.
Yesterday I spoke with Mr. Navarro of Con Edison-Brooklyn who called me about my letter to his company. Even under stressful circumstances, it is always a pleasure to speak with a rational human being. After a brief conversation, he determined that my problem was, indeed, a case of identity theft. Case closed. He added that NCO Financial would no longer be bothering me to pay the balance.
Score one for me. It pays to keep good records.
What is strange about this case is that the individual who was using my identity was actually paying the bills all along—since 2007; this was the final bill. Usually such thieves run up huge balances before moving on. Had this final bill been paid, or had the individual left a forwarding address, I never would have known that someone was using my identity—again.
Speculating about this individual’s behavior leads me to wonder why the thief needed my identity in order to acquire something as mundane as electricity for an apartment? My imagination runs rampant with all the possibilities, but the truth is I will probably never know.
While I feel relieved that this problem was resolved so smoothly, I still worry. I know that someone out there still has my personal information and will most likely use it again or sell it or both. I feel uneasy not knowing when the next collection letter will find its way to my mailbox. Next time, and I suspect there will be a next time; I might not meet up with such a conscientious employee as Mr. Navarro.
Meanwhile, thanks Mr. Navarro. If ever I move to Brooklyn, maybe, we’ll talk again.