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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » A 65-YEAR OLD KINGSTON WOMAN REFUSED A U.S. VISA, AFTER HER STOLEN IDENTITY WAS USED TO COMMIT A CRIME IN THE USA!

A 65-YEAR OLD KINGSTON WOMAN REFUSED A U.S. VISA, AFTER HER STOLEN IDENTITY WAS USED TO COMMIT A CRIME IN THE USA!

Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer A emotional Eulalee Howell, during a interview with THE WEEKEND STAR after she was denied a visa to visit the United States.

Grief and disbelief contorted 65-year-old Eulalee Howell’s face as she tried to explain her predicament of being the victim of identity theft.

Howell, a maintenance worker who resides in Kingston, said she has been experiencing bouts of depression lately, so her son, who lives in Pennsylvania, in the United States of America (USA), invited her to spend some time with him and her grand children there.

shock

With her heart set on her first trip to the United States, Howell applied for a non-immigrant visa and made her way to the embassy on the day of her interview. She was in for the shock of her life.

“When me go at the appointment, the gentleman (consular) said they can’t give me a visa because I committed an offence in the US,” Howell said.

She added: “I said ‘No, I’ve never been there before!'” .

Her pleas of innocence fell on deaf ears and she was asked to leave the embassy.

U.S. Visa

U.S. Visa

But Howell is adamant that she has never visited the US, let alone commit an offence there. She theorizes that she is the victim of identity theft by someone close to her.

“Mi just needed the break to go and visit me son and grandchildren in Pennsylvania, and now they’re telling me I committed a crime there. Never!” She exclaimed.

She further added that she has visited the Bahamas in 1993 and England in 1998, and has never been in trouble with the law.

In a desperate bid to prove her innocence, Howell is sharing her story in hopes that the perpetrator will desist, and the relevant authorities will take action.

“This is me only option fi somebody fi hear me. Mi can’t take no more. Mi a put me face in the paper make the whole world see. I can’t take the suffering no more. Me not young anymore. This needs to stop,” a crying Howell said.

Eulalee Howell

Eulalee Howell

extremely vigilant

Howell reported the matter to the police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign ministry advised her to write a letter to the embassy explaining her situation.

Meanwhile, head of the Fraud Squad, Superintendent Anthony McClaughlin is urging persons to be extremely vigilant with their personal documents, because most times identity theft is committed by someone closely related to them.

“Don’t leave your sensitive information carelessly. Protect things like your birth certificate and passport,” he said.

He said that Howell’s case is not unique as the issue of identity theft is becoming a widespread problem. He said rectifying the issue can be a long process, taking months at a time, because the investigation is an extremely tedious process.

“In these cases we have to do a lot of investigation, go into the person’s community and even their primary school to obtain records. It become increasingly difficult the older the person is because records might be lost, then we have to communicate with the embassy, and work on finding the perpetrator,” SSP McLaughlin said.

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