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Old 02-07-2013, 09:47 AM
1 posts, read 9,840 times
Reputation: 11


If this is the wrong place please let me know. Please bear with me on this situation, it's a bit long and sticky, and if you think I'm being neurotic, I am.

My elderly mother opened up a credit card in my name, I do not have any credit cards, only an auto loan, and when the credit card company called my house I answered instead of her (I never answer the house phone). They asked me if I had opened up a card, I at first said no, then gave them my cell phone number to reach me since I was leaving the house. My mom was listened in on the other line and came clean, explaining what had happened, why she had done it, etc etc. My mom has some issues, especially since my dad has passed, and the amount she charged up was $4000. I was really upset for a bit, especially since I have some disorders of my own (anxiety, depression, etc) but I didn't answer when the credit company called my cell phone. I let her explain herself, and forgave her. I am very disappointed, but she has been paying the bills on time, nothing went against my credit and I can easily pay off the card in a few months.

Now, when I finally did call the credit company back, I verified all of my information, told them I had opened the card but they kept asking me "Are you calling in behalf of (my name)?" I kept saying no, that it was myself and asked if they needed more verification. Each time they said no, and that the verification was complete and nothing was wrong, but the lady on the phone in the fraud department kept calling me "Sir" (I have a lower voice for a woman, results of a baby colic, but had NEVER been called sir on the phone). I told them I wanted to close the card (it had only been open about a month ish) and they didn't fight me on it, they closed it right away for me. Now, when I called in I asked for my home phone number to be taken off of the account, and only have my cell phone on there. They obliged, but when I went online and checked with my mother, they had not removed the number, so I removed it myself. I went to check again this morning and it would not let me into my contact information, saying there was an issue and I needed to contact customer service. I contacted them, and they told me the number was still on the account, even after I had asked for them to remove it once and had done it myself once as well.

Now, my question is: Can the credit card company press charges on my mother, or open up a fraud investigation just because they feel it might be just that? Even after all of the information has been verified, such as my address, SS#, the home phone # (which is linked to the address and my residence) the password, I even answered my birth date and security questions they asked about my car loan and where it was from? Even though I am paying the bills and trying to get it down as fast as possible so the account can be squared off?

I do NOT want to press charges against my mother, while it's not something I am happy she did, she is genuinely sorry, she has never done this before, and has paid for my tuition in college, some debt I incurred, she has paid for my therapy for years and my living expenses. She had a moment of weakness and she is helping pay everything back in full including paying me whatever I pay. But if I do not press charges, and say the card was in my name and everything was authorized, can the credit company still come after my mother for these things? Or report it without my permission or help?

Again, I do apologize if I am looking into things too far, I do have an anxiety problem and I over analyze situations and come to conclusions when they do not need to be. I have talked to two fraud specialists I know personally that are friends, I even called my bank and asked to speak to THEIR fraud department to see if that was a situation. The bank and my friends said this was a case of "Familiar Fraud" and more than 99% sure the CC company wouldn't be coming after my mom for $4000 because it would cost them too much in the long run, especially if they knew I was paying off the money. That they wouldn't want to lose money on everything, and would rather it just be paid with the interest so they get their money on time.

So I want a few more opinions on the matter, maybe some more insight. Thanks to everyone who answers and helps!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:55 AM
9,204 posts, read 17,479,879 times
Reputation: 21825
Your mom committed the fraud, but you were the victim, not the CC company. You would have recourse to press criminal charges, if you wich, but the CC company does not.
They can certainly internally investigate for suspected fraud, or at the very least, flag this account. But as long as they are getting paid they won't come after you or your mother.
You were right in closing the account. Now just pay it down and be rid of it.

Since family ID theft is the most common type of ID theft, CC companies are also aware that some people conspire with family members to commit fraud (Like if Joe and his mom decided to commit fraud together, they could have mom open up a card in Joe's name, they could charge a bunch of stuff, then Joe could report it as fraud and refuse to pay, but not press charges against mom). But this CC company in your case is being paid, so it's not a problem. If you suddenly decided to not pay and claim that you're not responsible, that could change.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:13 PM
90 posts, read 294,497 times
Reputation: 128
You really need to check your credit report. This may not be the only card your mom opened using your info.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:20 AM
Location: Upper East, NY
1,143 posts, read 2,478,097 times
Reputation: 558
I don't get it. How does the CC company even know about your Mom? You have given them nothing even to suspect fraud beyond their initial check, which is nothing but a computer program screen.
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