Zachary, La. police have arrested a St. Charles Parish woman accused of fraudulently obtaining student loans in the names of relatives.
Police Chief John Herty said detectives booked 48-year-old Diane S. Truax of Norco on one count of felony theft, 16 counts of forgery, six counts of bank fraud, six counts of monetary instrument abuse and three counts of identity theft.
Herty said Truax is accused of using the personal information of three family members to obtain six loans, totaling approximately $40,000 from JP Morgan Chase Bank. The loans were made without the family member’s knowledge in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
What do you do if a family member steals your identity?
Theft of your identity is time consuming to solve and can be expensive. Adding the fact that a family member committed the crime complicates things a hundredfold. The key in this situation will be to gather all the pertinent information and then communicate with your family member.
If you haven’t done so already, you should be sure to get a copy of your credit report so you’ll know just how much damage has been done. You should also place a fraud alert on your credit report.
Contact the creditors and close the accounts that were opened in your name without your permission. This will keep you family member from having any further access to the account.
Once you have all the information for the accounts that your family member opened and used, you have a tough decision to make. Your next step would be to file a report with the police. But once you do so, the cat’s out of the bag, and the authorities can and will pursue charges, family member or not.
Your family member may agree to pay off the debt, and the creditor may be willing to switch the accounts to the family member’s name. Most, however, are not willing to do this, so doing things this way can be tricky. If you go this route, it’s best to have the family member pay the entire amount in one lump sum.
But it’s highly likely that a family member who was willing to commit a crime like this can’t pay off the debt. If you decide to pay the debt yourself over time, rather than cause a problem in your family, keep in mind that any negative information on your credit report will remain on your account for seven years.