Disabled vet fights back after thieves steal his identity
Victim had social security and VA disability checks stolen
LEE COUNTY - An elderly Lee County man becomes the victim of a twisted case of identity theft....he says the thieves stole his good name, swiped his social security checks and that's just the beginning.
Four in your Corner's Mike Mason is here now to explain.
For the past couple of months, this disabled war veteran has been fighting a battle that authorities say is becoming all too familiar here in Florida.
Mickey McLinden having a few drinks with some old friends, but things weren't so cheerful a couple of months ago.
Mickey McLinden: "I mean it's a nightmare to have your identity stolen."
When Mickey celebrated his 84th birthday last December someone was out there stealing his identity. It all began in November. Mickey says that’s when he received a strange letter in the mail.
Mickey McLinden: "There was a note in there that my address had been changed and I didn't change it, of course not."
When Mickey called the post office they told him someone had changed his address to a home on the East coast, in Coconut Creek. By the time he switched it back it was too late.
Mickey McLinden: "They managed to get like passwords."
Mickey says the thieves had everything they needed to steal his life. He was no longer receiving his monthly VA disability or social security checks. When he called the social security office they said someone had arranged to have his checks placed on a fraudulent debit card.
Things took an even stranger twist when Mickey received this letter telling him a child had been added to his military savings account.
Mickey McLinden: "It sounds like an African name."
Mike Mason: "Taurmeshia Grant."
Mickey's own investigation found someone also applied for thousands in student loans, rang up charges on a Macy's account and bought all kinds of things.
Mickey McLinden: "Including a $130 purse, incidentally, for a woman."
Mickey reported the fraud to authorities and says the whole experience has made him a little wiser.....now this retired vet has some fighting words for the person who did this.
Mickey McLinden: "They better not cross my path let me tell ya', period."
The suspects in this case face felony charges of grand theft. Mickey says he's managed to straighten out his finances but plans to keep a much closer eye on his credit.