In which if you’re going to be an idiot, don’t be surprised when it bites you in the ass.
So I signed in to my gmail account two nights ago and discovered that someone named Gustavo Rodriguez had signed up for a Netflix, Intuit, Vista Print, and Geico account, all under my gmail address. Now, there is no way this was coincidental; my name is not even remotely similar to his and I can only conclude that he somehow got ahold of my email address and figured he could use it as a cheap throwaway in order to score some stuff untraceable online. There were, of course, a couple of problems with Gustavo’s logic. First of all, he signed up for these services legitimately in all other aspects, which means that the companies in question have his Visa information on hand. This morning, I merely went to each and every Website he signed up for and changed the password so he couldn’t access them anymore. Next, I cancelled all of his services and orders; I did not write down his Visa information, but it was plainly there in the account on all of them. His Netflix, which billed him $7.99, cannot be reimbursed. His Vista Print business card order is now cancelled and he won’t be receiving those business cards he ordered.
Is anything I did illegal? Nope. He stole my identity, which, while not on par with stealing credit card information, can still hurt the victim in the long run if the thief commits illicit activities while in possession of the stolen username. The $7.99 was charged legitimately to his Visa card, so there’s no contest there. All I did was shut down someone who wanted to use my email address for whatever reasons, without my permission.
One final note: When Netflix asked why he was canceling his account, I made sure to tell them I could find what I wanted much more easily on torrenting Websites. Gustavo should be receiving an interesting email from his ISP soon.