ID theft victim charged hundreds for Verizon account

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) -- Brandy Lehn has been going through pages of bills and filing theft reports outlining hundreds of dollars worth of charges at Verizon under her mother's name -- but her mother isn't a Verizon customer.

"Normally, she would've just thought it was junk mail but because the envelope said 'billing statement enclosed' and she opened it and was like 'Why do I owe $526 when we don't even have Verizon?'" Lehn said. 

The bill showed four new phone lines had been opened under her mom's name and address.

"It says the balance after this month is $910.34," Lehn said.

Between charges for new phones and fees, the culprit or culprits racked up more than $1,000. Lehn rent to a McMinnville Verizon store and learned she's not alone.

"They told me we were the third people coming in with a similar complaint," Lehn said. "And the lady at Verizon told me one of the customers had been deceased for several years and it was a family member that received the bill."

Lehn said those complaints all started this month. McMinnville police confirmed they have also received multiple reports of a possibly identify theft involving Verizon and Sprint. 

For Lehn , it's not about the money.

"They have her information because they have her Social Security information and her home address and all of that information so no telling what other information they have if they have all of that," Lehn said.

She said it's going to take months to get all her mom's money back and she's going to have to get a new Social Security number. 

Verizon's fraud department and police are investigating, but police said it's very difficult to find the people responsible for these kinds of crimes. 

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