If you’re like me, the term “identity thief” conjures images of computer-savvy hackers who swindle your personal information from the internet. But identity thieves come in all shapes and sizes, as evidenced by these surprising cases of fraud that have cropped up in the news recently.
Young NYC socialite steals ex-friend’s credit card
This is most likely a PR stunt, but Kashmir Snowdon-Jones (some rich model / socialite in New York City) apparently had a falling out with a friend and took revenge by using her credit card to buy $800 leggings and Domino’s pizza, among other things. I’ve never heard of this Snowdon-Jones person (which isn’t unusual since I’m usually the last to follow celebrity gossip), but it seems her only claim to fame is being young, pretty, rich, and perhaps Eric Clapton’s goddaughter. Now she can add “identity thief” to her resume.
Beauty queen has ugly fraud habit
A former Hawaiian beauty queen (Miss Hawaii International, 1992) has stolen at least $160,000 from 11 different people. Her method? She somehow got hold of the victims’ credit reports and used the information on them to open up credit card accounts. She is charged with 122 counts of identity theft, forgery, and money laundering. Maybe she can hawk her diamond crown to pay for her legal fees?
Robin Hood commits criminal identity theft
You could call him Robin Hood of Sherwood’s evil doppelganger: Upon being caught for stealing some baseball caps, this particular Robin Hood assumed the identity of the owner of the stolen wallet he was carrying. Mr. Hood also had drug paraphernalia stashed in his front pockets. Obviously, this fraudster isn’t living up to his noble namesake.
American Idol caught with a stolen credit card, now singing the blues
Chikezie Eze, former Season 7 American Idol participant, was aprehended by authorities after purchasing some cologne from Neiman Marcus with a stolen credit card. Eze maintains his innocence, claiming it was a misunderstanding. He posted the $50,000 bail and now awaits trial.
The Hamburglar is alive and hungry!
I grant that the burgers from Whataburger are good (better than McDonald’s, not quite as tasty as In-N-Out), but are they worth a trip to jail and a $12,000 bond? Um, no. Unfortunately, Mr. Ruben Otero wasn’t expecting to get caught when he stole a credit card from a local gym and used it to buy some grub and a gift card at the burger joint. I think Mr. Otero will be wearing his Hamburglar stripes for quite a while.
Fake mom gives fake birth to fake baby to get fake credentials
Daeshauna Lewis went to great lengths to pretend to others that she was a new mom, passing around fake ultrasound pictures and posting fake baby photos on her MySpace page. Faking motherhood also gave Lewis access to welfare and foodstamps. Her M.O.? To befriend an actual pregnant woman, invite her over, then rummage through her wallet to assume her identity. After the real mother gave birth, Lewis would order a copy of the child’s birth certificate from the office of Oregon vital statistics and use it to apply for government benefits. All in all, Lewis has only gotten away with $2,200 in benefits, but it’s clear to authorities that this case wasn’t just about the money. Based on accounts from her friends, Lewis is clearly obsessed with the idea of becoming a mother.