Kachel said his problems started a few years ago when he received a bill from Verizon for a house phone line in Oneonta. He took the bill to Verizon, where representatives suggested that he show the bill to police. Since then, various organizations and services have given Kachel “the run-around,” he said.
On May 8, Kachel received a letter saying his daughter’s disability checks would be cut off, and funding she has received since 2009 needs to be paid back in full. The reason?
“They’re saying I’m not her father,” Kachel said, “that I’ve been impersonating someone to get these checks. I’ve brought birth certificates, social security cards, anything I can think of, to the local Social Security office, but they won’t accept them or believe me because someone else is pretending to be me. ... They wouldn’t let me talk to a manager. They’re supposed to be there to help, but they don’t care.”
When Kachel went to re-finance his home recently, he also discovered that someone has been fraudulently using his credit card, he said. He filed a report with the New York State Police, who were helpful, but couldn’t do much for him since Social Security refuses to verify his identity, Kachel said.
According to Identity Hawk, credit-card fraud is the most popular crime for identity thieves. Of the victims of identity theft, 38 percent had their debit or credit card number stolen and 24 percent had a financial number compromised. More than 43 percent of all identity theft is a result of a stolen wallet or paperwork and 11 percent occurs through the internet.
Kachel said his wife works part-time because of an injury and Kachel, who is also disabled, stopped working at Oneonta’s China 19 restaurant recently because of an upcoming heart surgery.