Mistaken Identity

Benign mistaken identity can be easily resolved. Electronic identity is typically associated with social security numbers.

Most of us have had the experience of receiving a telephone call or mail intended for someone else. Often times this happens because we have a similar name. This is an example of benign mistaken identity. All you need to do is to inform the person or party that you are not the person they intended to contact. Typically, that resolves the mistaken identity issue.

But, what if your electronic identity is switched or crosses paths with someone else? For example, what if your social security number is some how linked to another person? That's just what happened to a man in Ohio who over a period of several years lost his home, his family, and his job. And he was repeatedly rejected for jobs for which he was well qualified.

What happened? It started with a simple recording error at one of the police precincts in Cleveland, Ohio. As a dangerous criminal with a violent past was being booked, the booking officer mistakenly entered the criminal's 4 digit street address as the last four numbers for his social security number. That incorrect social security number matched the innocent man's. From that point forward, whenever a standard background check was made on the innocent man, the criminal's record was mistakenly reported.

Could this happen to you? It may already have. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to recognize. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Have you ever been unexpectedly rejected or fired from a job or denied a promotion without an explanation?
  • Have you been unexpectedly turned down for a loan or a credit card?
  • Have you received recurring mail, email, or telephone calls intended for someone else?
  • Have you experienced unexpected unfriendly or cold behavior from someone who had previously had been friendly?

If any of these has happened to you, you may want to check for mistaken identity. You might start by conducting a background check on yourself. You can locate numerous organizations that provide this service without charge by conducting a search on the Web using the key words background check. You might directly ask why you were turned down for a job, promotion, loan, or credit card. Be persistent, you have the right to know. You might even hire a professional investigator to research your electronic identity.

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