Someone stole Sheba Baksh Soondar’s identity and almost ruined her life.
Soondar, a mother of four from Debe says she never thought something like this could happen to her, but it did.
She says her life turned upside down on August 2, 2019, when she found that someone was masquerading as her, was involved in illegal activity.
And although police officers have arrested the woman who may be responsible for the crimes, Soondar says her life has forever changed.
Hoping that no one else will ever have to go through the pain, anxiety, and embarrassment that has caused havoc on her family, Soondar has come forward to share her story.
"It feels like a nightmare. I am me, and yet there was another woman claiming she is me," she said.
Soondar found out her identity was stolen through a teacher at her child's primary school.
She said, "On August 2, the teacher called me and told me that my name, address but an image of someone else on my driver's permit was being featured on Crime Watch. I immediately went on to Youtube where I found the episode, and saw my information and the presenter Ian Alleyne requesting that I contact him urgently concerning a serious allegation."
With no clue as to the woman's identity in the photo, who somehow infiltrated her life and obtained her personal information to carry out crimes, Soondar says she was determined to clear her name and get back her life back.
Soondar said on August 5, she contacted the show to let them know that though the information aired was hers, the person in the photograph wasn't.
She was told that the imposter was using her information to rent vehicles, which were eventually sold to unsuspecting drivers without consent from the owner.
The following day, Soondar made a report at the San Fernando Police, where an officer gave her a receipt and told her that the report would be forwarded to Fraud Squad.
Not satisfied that the officers were treating her matter with urgency, Soondar said she wasn't going to sit around as someone destroyed her life.
She said, "I wanted to make sure that the information went to Fraud Squad, so i went to their office where I met two officers who took a statement from me."
“They advised me to inform all institutions where I conduct business that I am being impersonated, which I did.”
In the meantime, Soondar said the July/August vacation was a terrible time for her family.
"The children could not go outside and play. I had officers coming to my house due to the crimes being carried out by the woman, who had stolen my identity. My family and I live in terror that someone who has fallen victim to this woman would come to our home and harm us thinking we are responsible." she said.
Though, she has not discovered the true identity of the woman, Soondar says it gives her family some comfort knowing she is in police custody.
"Initially, I wasn't sure if police was taking my report seriously due to the nature of it. However, the police contacted me on September 4 to let me know they had the woman in custody at Arouca Police Station," she said.
The Soondar family says they are relieved that the woman has been held by local law enforcement. They hope their story brings more awareness about identity theft and shows that these crimes can happen anywhere.
Sookdar said, "You always here about counterfeit money, but someone in Trinidad having the capability to get other people's personal information and make fake iDs is scary."
The woman who stole Soondar's identity is not known to her or her family, and Soondar says she has no idea how the woman obtained her personal information.