I was logging onto my Gmail on my wife’s computer the other day to check something and it defaulted to her Gmail account (a rarely used one, pretty much just for credit cards and banks). Before switching accounts, I noticed a few different Citi e-mails about statements and important notices and such. I opened one out of curiosity (because I have all her Citi statements sent to me normally). Inside, I saw text which made my heart skip a beat –
It’s not too late!
We’ve already helped many people in similar situations find solutions on their account. Find out what options we have available that can:
- Lower your monthly payment
- Lower your interest rate (APR)
- Stop all late fees
- Help bring your account current
Language like that is something that comes when a payment is late, but not normally by a day or two. I went ahead and opened another one, this time a statement e-mail and saw something that made me really start to feel sick. It showed a balance of over $14,000! To make matters worse, the minimum payment was for the same amount – over $14,000! I immediately looked at all the other e-mails and noticed that the amount had been growing at over $500 each month in interest and fees. I started sweating and wondered how this had happened. The best I could figure was that it was a card that I had opened several years for her and we had met the minimum spending and forgot to pay it (which has never happened).
So, I quickly logged in to her credit check service and saw that her score was still over 750 (which it would not be with something like this going one) and nothing about this account. I went back through the e-mails and noticed something I had not seen before – the name in the e-mail was a man’s name that had the same first two letters as my wife and the same last name. Not having anyone like that in our family (and our last name being somewhat unique anyway), I called Citi to figure this out. While on hold, I ran the man’s name and found out that he had died in January of last year. That was when I knew that someone had made a mistake and it was not our mistake.
I told the Citi rep the whole situation and he looked up the account. While on the phone, I went through the rest of the e-mails and found a frightful amount of information – how long he had been a cardmember, his address, his phone number, his full name, and his statements and amounts for that card. The rep had no firm idea how this had happened but given when the e-mails began coming (earlier this year), it appeared that someone on Citi’s side was making an attempt to reach this gentleman with his bills so must have set up my wife’s e-mail address (since it was a mix of the initials and last name) as his. I expressed my frustration that something like this could happen and had him check all of our accounts to make sure that none of our accounts were registered to someone else’s e-mail address. I found the whole thing somewhat confusing but also anxious given the amount of personal information that Citi was sending to someone completely unrelated to the cardholder.
Have you ever had anything like this happen? Do you use a credit monitoring service in case someone is attempting to access or change your personal account information? Thankfully this is all resolved (though it looks like Citi may not get their money since he did with no family and his money and belongings would have already been distributed since he has been dead for almost 2 years)!