ID theft behind senior citizen's double power bills

Someone used a woman's ID to open an account with TXU Energy, and when the bills came, the company looked to her to pay up
January 13, 2014 8:33:46 PM PST
Paying one power is hard enough; being hounded for second one that is not even yours is worse. That's exactly what a senior citizen in southeast Houston says happened to her.

It is the very real consequence of identity theft. Someone used a woman's ID to open an account with TXU Energy, and when the bills came, the company looked to the woman to pay up.

The unwanted phone calls started coming to Mary Rodriguez's home back in October.

"I got a call from TXU wanting to know when I was going to pay my bill, and I informed them I did not have service with them," Rodriguez said.

Even though TXU is not Rodriguez's power provider, the company said it had a past due account for a home in Pasadena with her name on it.

"I told them I don't live there and never have. 'Yes you do,'" Rodriguez said.

TXU said it had Rodriguez's Social Security number to prove she opened the account.

"And I said, well I am going to have to check into it to see who is using my name, and again his answer was, 'As far as we know, and as far as we are concerned, it is you,'" Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says she filed an ID theft report with local police and that's not all.

"I faxed the police report, the ID theft, two picture IDs of myself and bills at this address for the last three months showing that I lived here," she said.

But Rodriguez says the calls kept coming, so we called TXU, and now the company says Rodriguez is no longer responsible for the $400 power bill.

The company says it needed specific documents to clear the problem up, but never got them. However, a spokesperson told us:

"Given the documents provided today, it is clear that Mrs. Rodriguez is a victim of fraud, and she will not be held liable for these debts."

TXU says it needed a fraud report from Rodriguez but says she did not send it in. Rodriguez says she did everything she was asked to do, but is happy that the company is no longer trying to get her to pay a bill for service she did not use.

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