began a military campaign in the country’s northern Tigray region, hoping to vanquish the Tigray People’s Liberation Front — his most troublesome political foe.

In Addis Ababa, security officers have demanded that landlords identify Tigrayan tenants. In one secondary school, a teacher said four Tigrayan teachers had been taken into custody as they ate lunch after officers arrived with a letter from the intelligence service containing their names.

A merchant in Addis Ababa, 38, was picked up by security officers after he opened his mobile phone accessories shop. A nearby shop owner phoned that news to the seized merchant’s wife, who said she left their two children with a neighbor and rushed to the shop — only to find it closed and her husband gone.

After a three-day search, the wife said, she found her husband in a crowded Addis Ababa detention facility with no proper bedding or food.

In Addis Ababa, rights groups say, police stations are so full of detainees that the authorities have moved the overflow to heavily guarded makeshift facilities, among them youth recreation centers, warehouses and one major prison. With no access to lawyers, some relatives of detainees say they will not approach these facilities, fearful they could be arrested too.

whistle-blower, have long accused Facebook of failing to moderate hateful incitement speech. With pressure mounting, Facebook this month deleted a post by Mr. Abiy urging citizens to “bury” the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Twitter also disabled its Trends section in Ethiopia, citing “the risks of coordination that could incite violence or cause harm.”

Timnit Gebru, an Ethiopian-born American computer scientist who spotted and reported some of the posts on Facebook, said the measures were insufficient and amounted to “a game of whack-a-mole.”

For now, many Tigrayans worry that it’s only a matter of time before they are seized. One businessman, who paid a $400 bribe for his release, said officers had told him they would come for him again.

It’s a fate Kirubel said he worried about as his disabled uncle and cousins remained detained.

“My children worry that I will not come back when I leave the house,” he said. “Everyone is afraid.”

Employees of The New York Times contributed reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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How Identity Thieves Took My Wife for a Ride

Insurance companies routinely check your credit when signing you up, so it was baffling that Progressive would have issued my wife a policy without her thawing her file. But it listed TransUnion as “the financial responsibility vendor” — an amusing euphemism if you know how long consumer advocates have been complaining because insurance companies use credit data to set rates — and sure enough, my wife’s frozen credit file indicated that Progressive had pinged it this month.

How? Incredibly, an exception often allows insurance companies to check your credit even if you want nothing to do with them. As we learned, that exception meant that Progressive could help itself to my wife’s file — which in turn helped someone pick the pocket of the State of New York and its taxpayers, like us.

In its wisdom, Progressive considered my wife responsible enough to warrant coverage. Fortunately for us, Mr. Pasternak was paying! The second page of our welcome packet said that “the authorization you gave for your first installment payment” was to come from a bank account with his name on it.

So meet our new best friend. With a name like Shiran Pasternak, he was a quick internet search away. Was he the thief? We wondered. But if he was, he was doing a pretty good job of hiding it. Like my wife, he had a “Welcome to Progressive” package and notes from the state about a mysterious unemployment claim that he had never filed. (The bank account and routing numbers in his Progressive packet were identical to ours, but neither had any connection to institutions where any of us do our financial business. Because the numbers were truncated, it was impossible to figure out if they came from a third person or were made up.)

Once we put all of that together, Mr. Pasternak — coincidentally a former New York Times employee — breathed a sigh of partial relief up in Irvington, N.Y., and let me push forward finding out what had happened to all of us.

Here’s how it works.

Automobile insurers — even the ones you don’t use — already know a lot about you. They share claims information among themselves to help weed out unprofitable or reckless customers who try to jump to another provider. They can also get access to your driver’s license number, your current auto policy data, and the make and model of your vehicle. Often, they buy this information from states (which end up sending money right back out when the buyers are careless and unemployment fraud proliferates).

The insurers want to make applying for a policy as easy as possible. So once you start entering information, they like to help you along and fill in some of those blanks for you. For some unfortunate victims, it was as simple for the scammers as copying down the driver’s license number that popped up, although it usually required more technical know-how.

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