Toledo woman victim of extreme identity theft

Toledo woman victim of extreme identity theft

Posted: Jan 18, 2009 07:23 AM CST

Updated: Jan 19, 2009 04:58 AM CST

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Florestela Thomas
Florestela Thomas




By Tanieya Lewis – bio | email 

Posted by Nick Dutton – email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – A South Toledo woman has been leading a double life without knowing it for 28 years. She’s the victim of an extreme case of identity theft.

Florestela Thomas says someone else is using her name. She says her first clue came in 1994 when she got a letter from the IRS. It was addressed to Florestela Ramirez. That’s her maiden name.

“It was when I tried to file my income tax. And they told me that I couldn’t file twice.”

She thought nothing of it and laughed about it with her co-workers. Then she received a bill for $1946 for the refund she says she never received. That’s when she realized it wasn’t a joke.

Thomas made several calls for help and that lead her to the Social Security Administration.

“She called me and she told me that my identity theft has been going on since 1980. And I had no idea.”

The solution seemed simple. They assigned her a new social security number.

“They said it was going to help. They said she would not be able to use my old social security number, but she has been.”

But the problems, and the letters are only piling up. She’s been getting letters from collection agencies and has even been yelled at over the phone. It’s left her feeling helpless and hopeless.

Ms. Thomas’ situation, albeit extreme, illustrates how pernicious identity theft can be. She has no one to turn to. My heart absolutely goes out to her because I know that had she access to my companies services, she would not be dealing with this twenty plus years later. I hope she or someone she knows read this so they can let her know there is help out there for her and other people in the same circumstances. If you have been a victim of ID theft, know someone that has, or are concerned about it and want more information, please consult with the following websites,  or



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