WARRENTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Imagine opening your mail and getting a check for $20,000 in rental relief money you didn't apply for. That's exactly what happened to Tenita Batts.
What a lucky woman, right? Well, not exactly.
"A whole lot of things went through my mind," she recalled. "I'm like, 'Is this for me God? Did somebody actually send me a check?'"
While the Warrenton native said the $20,000 would for sure be a blessing, when she took a closer look at the check, she got suspicious. It was made out to her, but it was from the Texas Rent Relief Program.
"I said I have never lived in Texas, never been to Texas," Batts said.
Right after getting the check, she then got text messages from a man who claimed an error caused his Texas Rental Relief money to go to Batts in North Carolina. He asked her to send it back.
"I'm saying well how did I get a check, you know that belongs to you in my name and to come to my address? He said that it is in my name (because) he rents from me. I'm like 'You rent from me? How do you rent from me? I don't live in Texas.'"
Batts said something didn't seem right. So she refused to send the check back.
"First of all, you have stolen my name, you have stolen my identity," she texted the man who was corresponding with her about the check.
Wanting answers Batts reached out to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and Wilson got in touch with the Texas Rent Relief program who confirmed someone set up a landlord application in Batts name and email with two different tenants. The representative added, their fraud team flagged the account and will investigate further.
This is a relief to Batts to now have answers and she did send the check back to the program. However, this was a wake-up call for Batts to check her credit and see if anyone else has tried to open accounts in her name or use her identity.
This is a good reminder to not let your guard down when it comes to protecting your identity, you can check your credit for free with any of the major credit bureaus and also here for free.