Advertisement
Scams

This Man Stole My Identity

David Dahlstrom, 44, of Salt Lake City endured 17 years of personal-finance hell while an impersonator in California bounced bad checks, ran up credit-card bills, and, starting in 1990, racked up a string of felony convictions in his name.

How did this nightmare begin? My wallet disappeared from the glove box of my car in 1985. Ten years later, my wife and I tried to get a car loan and they said our credit score wasn't very good and that they were going to charge a high rate.

Someone had applied for credit in your name? Yes. I checked my credit report, which showed $4,600 in delinquent charges on a credit card. I was cleared of those charges. Then in 1997, Midway Car Rental came after me for damages on a car it said I had rented and then wrecked.

What steps did you take? I filed a report with the Salt Lake City police, but they said California was out of their jurisdiction. I contacted the North Hollywood police, but they didn't believe my story. I finally talked to a Midway manager and worked it out. Then in 2001, an insurance company called, saying I was involved in a hit-and-run accident in southern Utah.

Advertisement - Article continues below

How did you stop this guy? I'm a locksmith. Last year, I was on a job at a crime scene and my fingerprints were everywhere. The detective told me there was a warrant out for my arrest for violating parole. I finally reached the parole agent of the guy using my name, who asked me to come to California. Before I got there, the parole office called to say that I had been arrested for stealing a car.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

But they had really picked up the guy who was using your name? Yes. I talked to a Los Angeles detective in the identity-fraud unit, who asked me to send more documents. Two weeks later, he called back and told me he believed me. I cannot explain to you how thrilling it was to have these people help me. And to see the guy who stole my life go to jail.

-- Interview by Joan Goldwasser

EDITOR'S NOTE: York Rogge, the man who stole David Dahlstrom’s identity, was convicted of ten counts of identity theft and one count of forgery. He's been sentenced to three years in jail and will face deportation proceedings after he serves his sentence.

Advertisement

Most Popular

HSAs Get Even Better
Financial Planning

HSAs Get Even Better

Workers have more options with flexible spending accounts, too.
July 2, 2020
2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays
Markets

2020 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays

Is the market open today? Take a look at which holidays the stock markets and bond markets take off in 2020.
July 1, 2020
Find a Great Place to Retire
happy retirement

Find a Great Place to Retire

Our cities provide plenty of space to spread out without skimping on health care or other amenities.
July 2, 2020

Recommended

Banks Canceling Credit Cards, Cutting Limits
credit & debt

Banks Canceling Credit Cards, Cutting Limits

If you haven’t used a card in awhile, make a small purchase with it to keep it open. It’s good for your credit score.
June 4, 2020
Milliennials Face Their Second Recession
credit & debt

Milliennials Face Their Second Recession

Forty percent of millennials say the pandemic will likely cause them to delay payments on their debts. Does that include you? Time to take action.
June 4, 2020
When Savings Bonds Make Sense
credit & debt

When Savings Bonds Make Sense

Series I savings bonds are safe options, but don’t go all in.
June 3, 2020
Which Rewards Credit Card Is Right for You?
credit & debt

Which Rewards Credit Card Is Right for You?

Kiplinger's contributing editor Lisa Gerstner joins our hosts Ryan Ermey and Sandy Block to chat about the best rewards credit card picks for every ty…
May 18, 2020