Ohio native Scott Davis was a long way from home when he became a victim of identity theft. A member of the U.S. Army, Davis was serving his country overseas on bouts of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan when the fraud occurred, and by a family member he had expected he could trust.
She was the first person he turned to in times of need
As the person who had been in his life longer than anyone else, Davis’ mother, Jennifer Fletcher, was somebody he felt safe sharing his personal information with. When it came time to file his taxes, since he wasn’t in the country, Davis had asked his mother to do so for him. He supplied her with a bevy of personal information, ranging from his Social Security number and bank account numbers to his yearly earning and how much he had saved up.
His first choice turned out to be the wrong one
Before he left for Afghanistan he had a decent credit score, but after handing over all the ingredients for identity theft to his mother, that would soon change. Fletcher did in fact file her son’s taxes for that year, but instead of depositing the funds from his refund into her son’s bank accounts as he had instructed, she kept the money for herself.
From there, Fletcher and an accomplice named Keith Hoover used Davis’ information to open up a series of accounts and have checks delivered to the couple in Davis’ name. After spending all of the roughly $1,400 from Davis’ refund, Fletcher and Hoover started taking money directly out of Davis’ bank account.
Eventually, her jig was up
In May of 2012, Davis’ wife caught on to the crime being committed by Fletcher and Hoover when she noticed discrepancies in her husband’s bank statements with what they had recorded spending, as well as overcharge fees.
In July, the thieving couple were jailed for criminal identity theft in their native Ohio, Fletcher for third-degree fraud and Hoover as an accomplice to the crime. If Davis had been enrolled in an identity monitoring program, he may have been able to detect the strange activity taking place on his credit report earlier and stopped his mother before she depleted his funds.