Sunday, March 31, 2013

Past Revisited: Identity Theft Victim

Some people know me as a very positive, jolly person.  But I'm carrying one hell of a huge problem behind my back for years.  I'm speaking now because I've been reflecting on my life for the past few days.  It's about time to share this story to everyone.

Before getting into details, I don't intend to ridicule or put the companies into shame on this post.  I just want people to be aware of the facts that I experienced from them.  If they can't suck into it, then that's their problem.  They should have done something "fair" about this matter in the first place.


Back in 2005, I worked as a part-time English tutor to Koreans online at Ann System while I was scouting for a better job then.  I think I've been with this company for a month or two.  I can't even remember and I left it out on my resume after this incident, not wanting to bring the past to the present.

Then in 2007, I was fortunate enough to be part of a reality show Hollywood Boot Camp as one of its contestants.  I chose this over religion (that's another story.  But I thank my guts for choosing HBC over it because of this story).  I flew over Los Angeles, California in April and went back to the Philippines in May. I was currently working at PeopleSupport at that time as an editor for transcripts.

Two years later, 2009, while I was residing in Makati, I got a call from a collections agent of EastWest Bank asking me to pay my dues back in 2007 amounting to Php 73,923.01 and it fluctuated to Php 115,000.  It caught me by surprise with the reasons that, first, I never opened an account on their bank, second, I will never spend that much money using a credit card.  So I thought it's just some prank/scam call.  What I did was I interrogated them by asking the details about me: full name, age, birthday, number, and address.  All were correct except for the address.  So I wrote it down in this blue pad along with other information I got from them.  And, yes, I keep all of my notes, especially this one.

I quickly went online to investigate who the culprit was, researched for it and found out that Jigu Corporation was once known as Ann System Development.  In the span of 30 minutes, I had my answer right in front of me.  And it occurred to me that the culprit must be that Filipina girlfriend of my employer who acts as the head of human resource then.  She happened to look like Korean--just like me (a Filipina who looks Korean).  They have my resume with all my information in it (except for my exact address--I don't usually include my house number); I always update my JobStreet account till 2009 and only employers get to see it (I applied at Ann System through JobStreet, by the way) so that's why she also updates her contact details on her account/s.  What kills me right now, I don't f***ing remember her name!!!  I've contacted my colleagues from that darn company, and they can't remember it as well.  Useless.

As you can see from the photo above, I wrote down the information I got from this site then.  It clearly states that Jigu Corporation started as Ann System Development back in 2003.  EastWest Bank should have hired me as their investigator because I got all the details in the span of 30 minutes!

Then I went to the Makati Police Station to file a blotter report about the incident.

Since I'm the type of person who doesn't want anyone to get involved with my own problems, I felt so helpless.  I reached out to my family and friends, but no one can really help me through this.  I don't want my parents involved on this as well.  I just don't like others to carry my burden.  But since I don't know what other actions to take since no one can even give me an advice, I sent my story over these series of shows that will do investigation and actions for victims like me, but, of course, of thousands of e-mails/concerns they're getting, mine's been ignored.


I called up the fraud department of EastWest and asked for a meeting.  My sister and I went there with all the evidences to prove that I was out of the country when the transactions were made by my impostor.  And I was even more surprised when they showed me the billing statement that she shopped a hell lot of things from brands that I'm not even aware of.  If you know me so well, dear reader, I'm a frugal person.  My friends can testify to this.  I don't spend too much on clothes, shoes, makeup or anything!  I'd rather buy stuff in Divisoria, Quiapo and tiangges, or department stores that are on sale.  Geez!

My heart really raised up too high when the people I spoke with (Nestor Padilla, Jake Dela Cruz and the other two that didn't even said a thing on the meeting) asked me to just open an account with them so that things will be settled.  I SAID NO.  Why am I supposed to open an account on their bank when in the first place I no longer trust them?!  They DON'T KNOW HOW TO INVESTIGATE or do a background check on the people who applies for a credit card account.  Two, it just clearly shows that they don't want to let their guard down and APOLOGIZE for the incident.  I was 24, young, kind of stupid in this situation, but me settling with their terms is unacceptable.  The meeting ended and my sister and I went out.  I thought it was over until last year.

I'm trying to move on from life.  Been through hell for the past years.  And so I finally wanted to put up a business of my own, but my mom kept telling me to open a checking account for the business.  That's when I realized that I haven't had my name cleared from EastWest.  I wasn't able to ask for a letter of clearance. Damn.  So that's what I did.  I called them up, e-mailed as well, and when I got both copies through e-mail and snail mail, I was dumbfounded that it says I settled the amount from my alleged debt.  Funny thing, my college friend's uncle is the president of the said bank.  Why have I not shared this story long ago with her?!  Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that they'd get to clear my name.

Okay, I was too lazy taking a good photo using my camera, so I used my phone instead.

Of course, I have a life to deal with, bills to pay, and so I focused myself on my jobs then.  And that's why there was a phase I deleted all my online accounts, got a bit racist on Koreans (loathed it when people say that I look Korean), and went VERY skeptical to every single person I meet.

Why am I writing all these now?  Because I can no longer fathom the fact that I still feel like I'm a victim to this day.  All I want is for EastWest Bank to clear my name stating that I was a victim of a fraudulent act and I never settled any amount to them.



I now have my certification from EastWest bank that was sent in October 2013, clearing my name and telling that I was never a cardholder of their bank.  Yey!  Now, the challenge continues on applying for credit card and cheque.

No comments:

Post a Comment