I'm Drew Armstrong, an editor at Bloomberg. I got my identity stolen by a fraudster, and it took six years to clean up the mess. AMA!
My name is Drew Armstrong, and I'm the U.S. Health Team Leader for Bloomberg News in New York City. My identity was stolen in 2013, though I didn’t find out until later. The details of the theft are laid out in a federal indictment (found here: https://www.plainsite.org/dockets/33qirtxfc/florida-southern-district-court/united-states-v-manukyan/) against a man named Marlen Manukyan, who opened bank accounts under my name.
When the police contacted me, I didn't worry too much about it at first. But the extent of the damage—and the years it would take to clean it up—started to emerge not long after. I'd get stopped by federal agents when traveling and get rejected for new credit cards. My credit was rated poor and my profile was put on a security watchlist somewhere in the government.
It’s been six years since Manukyan stole my identity, and finally the damage he did seems to be gone.
Since my identity was stolen in 2013, breach after breach has exposed the vulnerability of the systems that guard the private information we casually hand over to companies, health-care providers, and government. Social Security numbers are the keys to the kingdom.
I wrote about my experience in August, and you can find the story here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-12/i-lost-my-identity-to-a-fraudster-and-it-took-six-years-to-clean-up-the-mess
UPDATE: Thanks for coming, everyone. Happy to answer further questions in the replies on Twitter at @ArmstrongDrew. I usually post about health care, business and financial stuff. But ID theft has become a side-hobby.