BRUNSWICK, Ohio — Mark and Dawn Whitehair of Brunswick were overjoyed with new car bliss after buying a new Jeep Grand Cherokee in Oct. of 2020, but their happiness was short-lived after they discovered their personal information was somehow stolen during the credit application process.
Dawn Whitehair said dozens of unauthorized accounts have now been opened in her husband's name over the past three weeks, causing his credit score to drop more than 300 points.
“It’s really unfortunate, we don’t know where the blame is, we’re not getting any answers, as to who is to blame," Whitehair said.
"We spend hours a day with the credit bureaus, we’re going to have to dispute every single thing, there are over 70 different things on the credit report.”
The couple told News 5 the identity thieves have been threatening them via texts by sending them pictures of their stolen credit application.
“They told us we’ve got your information, if you don’t comply with us, you know, you’re going to pay," Whitehair said.
“And they said we will show up at your house, we have a warrant for your arrest, we know where you live."
“These people who are so skilled at what they are doing, it’s scary what people can do now, and they’ve got everything that they want on us.”
Mark Whitehair said he's concerned it will take many years to recover his identity and the banks involved told him the theft of his information is being used to perpetuate an even bigger crime.
"The bank told me it was used for laundering money from the stock market, is what they were doing and then I got turned into the Federal Trade Commission," Whitehair said.
“Say I live until I’m 80 years old, I'll have to buy 40 years of LifeLock to keep my identity because they can open bank accounts, credit cards, they have my driver's license.”
The couple purchased their Jeep from Ganley Chrysler of Bedford. The dealership told News 5 the couple's credit application was being handled by United Parcel Service and Worldwide Express when the documents somehow got intercepted.
The dealership issued the following response to our story:
“We are certain that Ganley Chrysler of Bedford is not responsible for the loss of customer information while United Parcel Service (UPS) was in possession of the documents. We will cooperate and assist law enforcement and UPS as they investigate this matter. We have contacted Chrysler Capital and alerted them to this data breach. Furthermore, we have directed our customer to contact the Fraud Prevention Department at Chrysler Capital for assistance with this investigation. Matters concerning the protection of private customer financial information is our top priority”.
Worldwide express also responded to the on-going investigation with the following response:
"As an Authorized Reseller of UPS shipping services, Worldwide Express, in its capacity as a third-party logistics provider, facilitates the relationship between small to medium-sized businesses and the nation’s largest package delivery service, UPS. As such, Worldwide Express does not directly handle or come into contact with any of our customers’ shipments which move through the UPS shipping network.
Worldwide Express was notified by its customer, Ganley Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, on Nov. 5 that packages bound for Chrysler Capital were not received. At that time, the Worldwide Express operations team initiated a tracer request with UPS. However, there is no record that these packages were picked up by UPS and/or entered the UPS system. Further, this issue continues to be investigated by UPS at our request. Once UPS concludes their investigation, Worldwide Express will communicate the findings to its customer, Ganley Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram."
Meanwhile, Dawn Whitehair told News 5 she and her husband have been left with an uncertain financial future.
“I love this vehicle and every day I spend looking at my Jeep and I’m really mad that I bought this new Grand Cherokee because our life has completely changed," Whitehair said.
“When filling out a credit application look at the small print and if they are going to send it UPS, obtain the tracking number, obtain where it’s going.”