An Ellendale man received a phone call last week that no one would want to receive. The caller from North Carolina asked John Doe (that's the name I'll use for the victim) if he had taken out a $60,000 loan to buy a 2016 Dodge Charger. The answer, of course, was no. John was told that the loan had been red flagged. He immediately went to a local Wells Fargo office. There he was told that the caller was legit. When his bank records were called up, it showed a $60,000 loan had been made in February and so far no payments had been made on the loan. In case you're wondering, I quickly checked prices on a 2016 Dodge Charger and they can range dramatically. Prices ran from the teens to one that was on sale for just under $56,000.

John has been told that a packet of papers should be arriving shortly. He will need to fill out his personal information and have it notarized to prove he is the one and only. I told him he should do it at the bank in front of someone and he said he planned to. He was told that this person or persons taking out a loan in John's name will, for now, hurt his credit rating, but it should go back to where it previously was when the whole matter gets cleared up and the loan taken off his record. Mr. John Doe is now living with the fear that somehow his personal data is in the hands of a person or persons and wonders what else could become of this. To date, he has not noticed any strange activity on his other accounts or credit card. Stuff like this can strike close to home.

For information on how to prevent identity theft, visit usa.gov/identity-theft.