Friday, November 14, 2014

Identity Theft at the USCF

On Sunday, November 2nd, someone pretending to be James R. West went to the USCF website and renewed my membership for one more year, using my ID number.  Then he changed my e-mail address and mailing address to his.  On Monday, November 3rd, I looked up my rating at the USCF website and was surprised to find that I was now a resident of New York!  I phoned the USCF immediately, and they corrected my e-mail address, mailing address, and expiration date.

Then yesterday, November 13th, the troll sent an e-mail to the USCF requesting that my e-mail address and mailing address be changed again to his.  And they made the same mistake!  This time, I received an e-mail from the USCF notifying me that my personal information had been changed.  Once again, I phoned the USCF and got them to reverse their error.  By the end of the day, I received another e-mail from the USCF advising that my ID number had been locked, meaning that in the future my personal information can be changed only if I contact them directly by phone; or, in other words, no more trolling!

Apparently the identity thief wants a membership card from the USCF with my name and ID number on it so that he can pretend to me at tournaments or pass himself off as a chess master to unsuspecting students.  Tournament directors, beware!  An impostor is on the loose.