Anthony Del Broccolo
was walking to my car one morning when I spotted a UPS van pulling
up to my apartment. I ran back to greet the driver
I live in 1701. I'm Anthony Del Broccolo." The driver looked
me directly in the eye and said, "No, you're not."
that's curious, I thought to myself as I showed him my driver's
license. I even opened my front door to prove that I indeed lived
in 1701. The driver grew pale. He then confessed that he'd been
delivering packages all week to someone else claiming to
be Anthony Del Broccolo. The Fake Anthony even had a fake driver's
license for identification.
first thought was, Great. My identity's been stolen. My second
thought was, Why would anyone want it?! It's not like it was
doing me any good. Slightly confused, I opened the package from
UPS to find an American Express card imprinted with a name I had
never seen before: Matthew C.. Balabbo.
my god, I thought, that's a really funny name. After
repeating "Balabbo" many times for my own amusement, I
called American Express.
it turned out, Mr. Balabbo had called one week earlier to add his
name to my account as a secondary cardholder. He was able to do
so by verifying a disturbing amount of personal data, including
my social security number.
panicked, I asked the American Express people just how much Balabbs
had charged on my credit. The answer was $13,000.
down to the local police station, shaking with anger. An officer
determined that, since the card was actually delivered to my address,
Balabbo was able to steal my identity by stealing my mail. And stolen
mail, he added, was something that fell under the jurisdiction of
"The Postal Police."
There's a Postal Police? Really?! I now knew what I had to
do next: Create a TV series about The Postal Police! Starring
Brian Dennehy. As Sgt. "Stamps" McGee.
home and called the Postal Police, and was shocked when no one answered.
I was even more shocked when no one answered the next twenty
times I called.
sorry to bother you, Postal Police. You're obviously very
busy trying to take down that Paper Boy in Sherman Oaks who's been
stealing all the Victoria's Secret Catalogs from people's mailboxes.
to bed that night feeling helpless, violated, and confused. What
else was this guy Balabbo planning to do? Was there anything I could
do to stop him? Do the Postal Police, like, carry handcuffs?!
have to wait long for my answers. The next morning, the UPS guy
knocked on my door with three more packages addressed to me, but
obviously intended for Balabbo.
that's when it hit me. This guy wasn't just stealing my identity,
he was doing it right under my nose. The balls on this Balabbo!
the UPS guy even noticed, but at that moment I changed. I went from
a mild-mannered, pasty-faced childrens' television writer, to an
angry, pasty-faced vigilante. I now had one mission in life
-- to take Balabbo down. And I was prepared to do anything
to get my man
even if it meant breaking a few rules
and growing a beard.
my investigation by asking the UPS guy for a detailed description
of the perp. Balabbo was approximately five foot nine, with short
so he looks like me?"
sir," the UPS guy replied, "he's athletic looking."
the fuck?! My pride may have been wounded, but I knew I had gathered
some valuable info.
to start hunting down Balabbo immediately, but I needed to go to
my stupid day job. I mean, how was I supposed to be a vigilante
when I had to spend the next 10 hours writing comedy for tweens?!
there was the annoying matter of calling all those merchants to
undo the damage caused by the identity theft. Here's just a small
sample of what Balabbo had done using my information:
applied for eight different credit cards.
a black, Ford F150 truck.
three computers online.
more than 200 Dodger tickets.
even had the Post Office hold my mail so that I wouldn't see the
trail he was leaving behind.
if all that wasn't scary enough, I opened one of the UPS packages
to find 700 Euros. Now he was ordering foreign currency.
What had the fake me gotten my fake self into? Was I an unwitting
pawn in some complicated global conspiracy? Was Keifer Sutherland
about to bust down my door and bring me into Counter Terrorist Unit?
fearing for my own safety, I contacted the FBI's Los Angeles Field
Office. Agent Conroy assured me that I probably wasn't in
any danger. "Probably" was probably not the word
I wanted to hear just then. I could probably think of several
better words to use in that instance, like, oh... I don't know...
DEFINITELY? He also said there was nothing the FBI could do, as
it's their policy not to pursue these cases unless the personal
loss exceeds $500,000.
up the phone scared, but even more frustrated that no one wanted
to help me. And then I remembered:
you're a vigilante. You prefer to work alone.
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