Commenters on a viral Reddit forum were horrified after an individual claimed their boss opened a credit card in their name without their permission.
The anonymous employee, known only as u/Tronlon, posted about their situation on the popular “antiwork” subreddit where it received nearly 37,000 votes and 2,000 comments from users suggesting the employee freeze their credit and take the identity fraud to the police.
Identity theft is committed when someone uses another person’s personal information to commit fraud. By stealing a person’s personal information to open a credit card, the fraudulent person can rack up large charges and not pay which will affect the victim’s credit score.
A credit score, or the number which measures credit risk, determines whether a bank wants to approve a loan, such as a mortgage. Individuals with lower credit scores may find it more difficult to receive a loan, be approved for an apartment, or lower their insurance rates.
In the post titled “My boss opened a credit card in my name and did the same thing to 2 coworkers,” the employee explained that they work at a “mom and pop” type graphic design business.
“As if being underpaid at my job isn’t enough, I just found out my boss opened up a credit card in my name,” the post read.
The employee recalled receiving a phone call from their bank a few weeks prior asking about unusual charges on their credit card. They said they had no idea about any of the charges the representative went over.
“I told them it looked like those charges weren’t on my app and the rep said she tried calling at a different phone number but it was disconnected,” the post explained. “She confirmed 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 the new one, opened in December, was nearing its credit limit. The representative also told them there were two large charges from different Wal-Mart stores on the card.
The employee said they asked the representative for the address on the accounts and said the new card was under their boss’ home address. The bank canceled the card that day and said the employee might be contacted by the fraud department.
“I told my team about it and two of them immediately chimed up that they had their identities stolen last month with credit cards opened in their name,” the post read.
In November, the boss–who works remotely–asked about a dozen employees to fill out updated W-9 forms because the company was “moving to a new system.”
After telling the other employees about being a potential fraud victim, one of their coworkers ran home to grab the letter from the credit card company. On the letter were their boss’ cell phone number and the address of a UPS near his home.
“I’ve put up a lot working here but this is absolutely the last straw,” the post read. “The work environment is middling at best but the pay is horrible. I called in sick the day I figured it out and I’m starting to look for something that actually works for me and pays me at least what I’m worth.”
Nearly 2,000 users flocked to the comments section, many begging 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.”
“This isn’t a work problem, this is a legal problem,” another user mentioned. “Call the police. Call your labor board. Call the district attorney’s office. Hell, call the local paper.”
Another user also mentioned that the employee should recommend that their coworkers all check their credit scores immediately.
The user said if it happened to them, the boss probably had or was planning on doing it to everyone who turned in an updated W9. They also suggested that the employee freeze their credit to ensure their boss does no additional damage.
Newsweek reached out to u/Tronlon but did not receive comment in time for publication.