"Oh my God! - Hold on for a minute." After about a 5 minute wait, a man gets on the phone and informs Whitney she evidently has been the victim of identity theft, and she needs to contact all of her credit card companies, because evidently, some other girl is using her identity. After talking for a few minutes, the man agreed to email Whitney a mug shot of the woman who was arrested who used her name. Whitney took the picture, then emailed it to everyone in her address book, and put a title on the email: DOES ANYONE KNOW THIS GIRL WHO STOLE MY IDENTITY?
Amazingly, within a hour, she received a call from her friend Lauren, who excitedly told her, "Whitney, you're not going to believe this - my dad and I had lunch at Red Lobster in Chattanooga yesterday and that girl was our server! I remembered her name tag and I called my dad and he still had his credit card receipt, and he said on it was "sever: Dombrosky."
Whitney called the manager at Red Lobster, explained what had happened, and the manager said she would give the server Whitney's phone number and see if she would call her. Luckily, the sever did call, and believe it or not, her name really was Whitney Dombrosky! Our Whitney called the police department in Hamilton County, and they informed her she and the other Whitney needed to come to the station to get it "straightened out." The other Whitney agreed to do so. Even after they met at the police station, our Whitney was told she would still have to go to court with the other Whitney. A few weeks later, they appeared together in Hamilton County Sessions Court, and explained to the judge what had happened. A detective at the hearing had the gall to accuse "our" Whitney of being in collusion with the "other" Whitney, and demanded to know if they were not in it together, how they knew each other. Judge Bob Moon didn't buy the detectives argument, and admonished him for even saying it. He ordered all charges against our Whitney to be dismissed, including her speeding ticket, plus ordered her record be expunged. I did a background check on her for this article through the TBI, and her record does now come back clean.
How did this happen? For the record, the "other" Whitney did not steal "our" Whitney's identity. This is what happened: Our Whitney got a speeding ticket, and all of her information was put into the system. Remember what the other Whitney was arrested for? Possession of a controlled substance and NO DRIVER'S LICENSE. When a clerk was typing in the information, they did not have a driver's license number for the "other" Whitney. When they typed in the name "Whitney Dombrosky", all of "our" Whitney's information from her ticket popped up, so they just filled in all of her information on the arrest of the "other" Whitney, making both girls information "our" Whitney's. In a way, our Whitney was lucky that she made that inquiry about her speeding ticket when she did, otherwise, a felony warrant may have been sent to Bradley County for her arrest. Identity Theft is a bad problem, but even worse when a law enforcement agency is to blame!
In this age of information sharing, we have already been informed of how important it is to routinely check our credit report for misinformation. This incident also is an example of why if you are issued any type of summons or ticket from a law enforcement agency, it is a good idea to later have a background check run on yourself to make sure something like this doesn't happen to you.