Late on Wednesday, the bizarre case of Amal Al Ghamdi, a Saudi housewife who had been unknowingly registered as a government employee for 17 years, caused quite the stir online.
According to Al Yaum Newspaper, the story unraveled when Al Ghamdi applied for aid from the kingdom's Citizen Accounts Committee (Hisab Al Mowaten) which provides financial benefits for unemployed citizens.
Speaking to the publication, Al Ghamdi's husband explained that his wife was told she wasn't eligible for government benefits because she already has a source of income.
"We were shocked when they informed us that my wife was registered as a teacher in a school located in Al Baha governorate, since 2001. My wife isn't employed and doesn't receive a salary. We were also astonished when they told us that according to her file, she was also recently promoted," he said.
Al Ghamdi graduated as a teacher in 1997 and applied to a job at the kingdom's Ministry of Civil Service.
"I never received a response from them and thought they'd just rejected my application. I then decided to become a stay-at-home mum," she said.
"Years later, I started applying for teaching jobs again but I was turned down time and again. No one got back to me but now I believe it must've been because of background checks," she added.
This may be a case of identity theft
While identity theft has yet to be proven in this case, Al Ghamdi believes someone has been benefiting from a salary in her name over the past 17 years.
She's now demanding that anyone involved in the case be brought to justice
In her statement to Al Yaum, she said:
"I also demand that I be reimbursed for the years I spent unable to find a real job, because I was registered under this fake one."
Speaking to Al Yaum, legal expert Abdul Rahman Al Abu Ali weighed in on the matter, explaining that Al Ghamdi must take her case to court in order to prove that someone stole her identity.
"If that is proven, she can then demand that she take her place at the job she was registered under. Under Saudi law she can also demand that she be financially reimbursed for the losses she incurred over the years," he explained.
Tweeps were left confused
Al Ghamdi's case sparked controversy online and left many confused over the matter.
"Who has been receiving her salary all these years?"
Some were speechless
Many believe this to be a matter of identity theft
"Someone was using her identity in order for them to unrightfully benefit from her salary."
"It's so infuriating that someone can use your name for so long without you even knowing about it"
"It's her right to demand reimbursement"
A few people shared similar personal stories
"My sister has been suffering from a similar case for two years. She was registered as a teacher for two years and her salaries were being issued without her even knowing about it. Al Baha's Education Authority is a place filled with corruption."
And the stories are still coming in...
"I know a woman who recently discovered she was registered as a government employee for years. When she did, she was given a financial reimbursement and asked not to speak out about the case."