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Some People Make You Wonder...

Who's the Worst Roommate of the Millennium?

This story was the winner of RoommateLocator.com's "Worst Roommate Story of the Millenium" contest. To see all the entries (if you dare!) click here.

Never trust a person who always smiles - especially if you've got good credit

Author: Kennes

As I sit at my computer, attempting to put into words an event that at one point left me speechless, a satisfying sense of retribution comes over me, for at this very moment, my EX - and I stress EX - roommate is sitting in a jail cell, and I helped put her there.

It all started a little over a year ago. I had just graduated from college and needed a part time job while I looked for what I termed a "real" job. I ended up hostessing at a restaurant, and that's where I met her. Her name was "Jane". She was the all American girl - blond hair, blue eyes. She came across as the most upstanding, trustworthy person you could ever find. She had the voice of Minnie Mouse and was always in a good mood (No. 1 clue that she could not be trusted). In time, Jane and I formed a friendship. We clicked instantly and became closer and closer with ease - with too much ease some of my friends would tell me later. But I thought nothing of it other than how lucky I was to meet her.

When we first met, I lived with my folks, but wanted desperately to move out. Unfortunately, I opted for the shiny new car after graduation rather than thinking about affording rent. Jane, however, had a solution. She had lived by herself for months in her father's condo and was looking for a roommate - a roommate that she trusted (an ironic statement in light of what was to come). I would only have to pay $300 rent and I'd have my own room and bathroom. What a deal!! By March, I was all moved in. Little did I know that in less than four months, I would find myself sitting in my old room at my mother's house once again, wondering what in the heck had just happened. Things on the surface appeared to be fine in my new home. I worked all day, and Jane went to school and worked from time to time at night. We never fought, as female roommates often do, and rarely had any conflicting interests. I had met her parents, and I knew her friends. It was perfect… too perfect.

While I lived with Jane, I always noticed that she seemed to spend a lot of money. She always had her hair and nails done, and she took trips quite often. Remembering how I struggled through college with part time jobs that didn't pay enough to eat out at Taco Bell let alone travel out of state every other weekend, I thought it was strange that she was able to live so well with only a hostessing job. I explained my doubts away, however, by figuring that either her parents were helping her or she had financial aid. I later learned that I was close on both accounts - only, I was the one helping her and my credit was her financial aid.

Late one June night, I called American Express to check on my application for a credit card. Still trying to get out of debt, I grabbed at any opportunity to get a low APR. Strangely, they informed me that I already had an account with American Express and that it had a $3,000 balance. "That's impossible," I told the faceless customer service agent, who went on to specify that I was the PRIMARY account holder. 'Primary account holder?' I thought. 'Well, who is the secondary?' "Does the name Jane ------- sound familiar to you?"

I couldn't believe it. In fact, I didn't believe it. Jane was my friend. American Express had made some kind - any kind - of mistake.

I woke Jane up and told her what was going on. She looked shocked (she should have been an actress) and informed me that she had an account of her own with American Express ever since January. We agreed that someone, somewhere made an error and that we would get it straightened out the next day.

The next morning, I spent hours on the phone with American Express pleading with every person willing to talk to me. I was certain they had made the mistake. No one would believe me, though. They only asked me again and again, "How well do you know your roommate?" Finally, I got in touch with a woman working in new accounts. She told me that the account had been applied for over the Internet in May and there was no record of a Jane ------- prior to that date. I asked her to fax me a copy of the application so I could at least see from where this account originated.

You know the expression "jaw dropping"? It's kind of strange when you find yourself actually reading something that literally makes your jaw drop. There was my name, my social security number and my and Jane's address. The name of my work was correct, but that was about it. Every phone number was bogus, and my salary was inflated quite a bit. And there, at the bottom of the page, was her name.

I didn't know what to do! 'This could not be happening. This isn't happening,' I said to myself. But it was. On top of the American Express account, there were uncountable inquiries into my credit history made by various credit card companies. She had been applying for credit cards almost daily since I had moved in using my social security number!!

I still didn't want to believe it. Jane was my friend. She wouldn't do anything like this!

I hate being wrong.

That night, after I let her dig herself into an even deeper hole for a few minutes, I confronted her. She told me that she had tried to fix things with American Express and that they were "completely rude" to her. She denied making ny of the charges on this mystery account and that her account (which never existed) had only $1,500 in balance transfers.

I couldn't take it anymore so I showed her the application and calmly asked her to explain it. Her face and voice remained composed, but her hands began to shake. She told me that she couldn't explain it and that she didn't know what to say. She pleaded with me to believe that she could never do something like this to me. We agreed that we would talk about it the next day, and she left for work. That was the last time I saw her - other than her mug shot.

The next day I decided to get a list of the purchases made on the account. Part of me hoped that Jane couldn't have made any of the charges, proving that it wasn't her. No such luck. Almost every charge could be linked directly to her - plane tickets she bought, hotels where she stayed. I was floored. I was also pissed off, and somewhat scared. First, I raced to the police station to make a report. Second, I moved out - FAST! I was out of there (with the help of most of my family) in less than two hours. I only heard from Jane once after that. She called the next day to say she was surprised that I had moved out. I actually think that she was a little more scared than surprised. Two weeks ago, Jane was arrested for credit card fraud. Since then, she has been sitting in jail, I assume, trying to figure out how she is going to spend the next few years of her life. See, Jane was on probation for forgery when I met her - another one of her secrets. Because of this, the state is going to go after her. They offered her a deal - plead guilty to the credit card fraud charges (a class 5 felony with a mandatory two year sentence) and they will forget the probation violation (a mandatory three year sentence). Or go to trial and be found guilty of it all. Two years versus five... I think she will take the deal.

I now live with my mother once again and am planning to buy a place of my own within the next year. When I think back on my experience, it all feels very surreal to me, like a television movie of the week. Definitely not something that actually happened to me only three months ago. Part of me feels badly for Jane. Her Minnie Mouse voice isn't going to fare too well in prison, but she knew what she was doing.

I never got angry about the whole situation. I think that I'm still in shock. I've been lied to before... we all have. But to be absolutely blindsided with no way to see it coming, it really affects your ability to trust. Ultimately, I don't know which was worse - that she ruined my credit or that she had acted like my friend in order to do it.

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The Roommate from Hell

We found out who's the Worst Roomie of the Millenium!

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