If you’ve ever wondered how long the effects of ID theft can linger, just ask the upstate New York woman who has been battling National Grid for years because the utility company won’t believe she isn’t the same person who owes $4,800 on an account opened 18 years ago, when she was only seven years old.
“It is a big bill. It’s not just something I can say okay and agree to pay that,” the woman tells Syracuse’s WSYR-TV.
The woman says she had her ID stolen when she was a youngster and that someone used her info to open the National Grid account that then went unpaid.
In an effort to resolve the issue, she gave the power company her social security number, driver’s license, and birth certificate, and asked if the electricity could please be turned on, if only for whatever amount of time it took to investigate the matter.
“They said no,” she tells WSYR, “unless I agreed to pay 50 percent down of what the bill is that someone else had ran up and I sign a payment arrangement and I won’t agree to do that.”
A rep for National Grid tells the TV station it will investigate the woman’s claims. In the meantime, the woman’s landlord has agreed to put the heating bill in her name.