Man comes face-to-face with identity thief

Posted at 6:57 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 21:57:12-04

A mystery package at the door led to a South Park man's encounter with an identity thief.

In late August, Rodney Wendler opened a delivered package - his name on the label - and found a new Samsung phone and iPad.

About a minute later, Wendler heard someone at the door.  He says a young black woman was at his door.

"She was wearing scrubs with a badge, and flashed the badge with my last name on it," said Wendler.

Wendler says she explained that the package was hers. Because they had the same last name, his name had been mistakenly put on the shipping label.

He told her he was going to call Verizon to make sure he wouldn't be charged and went to this office.

He spent several minutes on the phone.

"I started putting things back in, and I grabbed the receipt and saw my name on the receipt and suddenly got a sick feeling in my stomach.  Verizon asked what her name was and I called out to her, but she was gone," said Wendler.

Verizon eventually told him someone had used his personal information to set up an account and order thousands of dollars in products, on a payment plan.
"Social Security numbers getting sold on the dark web ... that's actually true," said Wendler. "It happens."

Wendler doesn't know how his information got out, but he's determined to get the word out on the person who targeted his identity.    

"What else can do they do?" he said. "What else am I going to discover has been opened in my name? How far will it go?"

Verizon has since shut down the account, but Wendler later learned the woman intercepted a second package at the delivery vehicle by pretending to be his wife.