At the First Sign of Trouble | Articles | The Fellowship

At the First Sign of Trouble

    Jul 2, 2023 | by The Fellowship

    It all started just a few months ago in February.  My phone began ringing with calls from bill collectors who were asking for my ex-husband.  I politely told them that it had been more than ten years since my divorce from this man -- and I had no contact with him.  My first assumption was that my ex-husband was using my information for his own gain.

    In talking the situation over with my daughters, who are both law enforcement officers, I told them of my plan to contact him about this via messenger.  One of them asked, “Do you know for a fact he is giving your information out?”

    My answer was: “No, but why would these bill collectors be contacting me?” They told me that, unfortunately, information is constantly being stolen.  I had immediately jumped to a conclusion that could easily be wrong.  The first thing I did was to ask God for forgiveness for harboring negative emotions from the past.

    My daughters advised me to check with all three credit bureaus to see if there was any contradictory information in my history. On March 1st as a precaution, I placed a fraud alert with all three bureaus and my bank.

    On March 19th  I received an email from my bank advising me that my social security number had been used on January 23rd for renting some property -- and an address was given.  All I could think was that my identity had been stolen!  I was so upset and worried!  How could this happen?  I would never have known about it if I had not placed that fraud alert.

    The next day, I reported it to the police and submitted the information that my bank had provided. As a result, I was given a case number and advised that their Identity Theft Division would contact me. I could not sleep that night for fear of what devastating news the next day might bring.

    However, nothing happened immediately.  But I was constantly checking my accounts for fraudulent activity.  Sharing my fears with my LIFE Group, I asked for prayer.  How I needed their prayers to help me stay focused on God and know that He was in control!

    Three months went by before I was finally contacted by a police investigator.  It had been so hard to wait, to choose not to dwell on the “what if’s” -- but instead constantly giving my anxious feelings to God.  When his call came a few days ago, the investigator went over all the information on my report to confirm it and told me that his plan was to check out the location the next day.

    The first thing I learned when he contacted me was that the person who was renting the property was a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy! The investigator had verified this fact by checking the employment records of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.  He also said that the manager of the rental properties knew the deputy and had worked with him for a few years.  She checked the application that had been submitted for renting a unit and discovered that the deputy’s social security number had been entered incorrectly!  Because some digits got transposed, it was my social security number that got submitted.  It was an innocent error!

    The relief I feel is almost indescribable!  God is such an awesome God!  He has taught me to reach out to Him at the first sign of trouble.  My responsibility is choosing to stay focused on Him in a panicky situation and place my trust in Him.  Praise God that He is so very faithful.

    R. R.

    Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. 
    Isaiah 12:2

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