Commenters on a viral Reddit forum have been horrified after an individual claimed their boss had opened a credit card in their name without their permission.
The anonymous employee, known only as u/Tronlon, posted about his situation on the popular “antiwork” subreddit where he received nearly 37,000 votes and 2,000 comments from users suggesting the employee to freeze his credit and report the identity theft to the police.
Identity theft is committed when someone uses another person’s personal information to commit fraud. By stealing someone’s personal information to open a credit card, the fraudulent person can rack up significant charges and not pay, which will affect the victim’s credit rating.
A credit score, or the number that measures credit risk, determines whether a bank wants to approve a loan, such as a mortgage. People with lower credit scores may have a harder time getting a loan, getting approved for an apartment, or lowering their insurance rates.
In the post titled “My boss opened a credit card in my name and did the same to 2 co-workers”, the employee explained that they worked at a “mom and pop” type of graphic design company.
“As if being underpaid at my job wasn’t enough, I just found out my boss opened a credit card in my name,” the post read.
The employee recalls receiving a phone call from his bank a few weeks before asking for an unusual charge on his credit card. They said they had no idea what charges the representative was making.
“I told them it looked like this charge was not on my app and the rep said she tried calling another phone number but it was disconnected,” the message explained. . “She confirmed that I had two credit cards through them, but I only have one.”
The representative then told the employee that their main account had no strange charges but that the new one, opened in December, was approaching its credit limit. The rep also told them that there were two large charges from different Wal-Mart stores on the card.
The employee said he asked the rep for the address on the accounts and said the new card was under his boss’ home address. The bank canceled the card that day and said the employee could be contacted by the fraud department.
“I told my team about it and two of them immediately said that they had their identities stolen last month with credit cards opened in their names,” the post read.
In November, the boss – who works remotely – asked a dozen employees to fill out updated W-9 forms as the company was “moving to a new system”.
After telling the other employees that he was a potential victim of fraud, one of their colleagues ran home to retrieve the letter from the credit card company. On the letter was their boss’s cell phone number and the address of a UPS near his home.
“I’ve worked a lot here, but this is absolutely the last straw,” the post read. “The work environment is mediocre at best, but the pay is terrible. I was sick the day I got it and I’m starting to look for something that really works for me and pays me at least what I worth.”
Nearly 2,000 users flocked to the comments section, with many pleading with the poster to take action against their boss and file a police report.
“Your boss literally committed credit card fraud,” one user commented. “Document everything. File a police report.”
“It’s not a work issue, it’s a legal issue,” another user said. “Call the police. Call your labor council. Call the district attorney’s office. Shit, call the local paper.”
Another user also mentioned that the employee should recommend all co-workers to check their credit scores immediately.
The user said that if this happened to them, the boss probably had or planned to do this to anyone who returns an updated W9. They also suggested that the employee freeze his credit to make sure his boss doesn’t cause any further damage.
Newsweek contacted u/Tronlon but did not receive a comment in time for publication.