It seems that identity theft or concealing personal information is getting more difficult in our day. It’s worth creating a bank card or shipping a package since the con artists already know everything about you, even the color of your underwear. The information is usually gathered with one goal in mind: to defraud you.
At times like these, you could assume that past generations were fortunate and that identity theft was unthinkable back then. However, this is a false belief because individuals in those days took the knowledge and a personality by claiming to be someone else.
Here are some cases of persons who have successfully stolen the identity of another person. These incidents occurred a long time ago, and you can imagine how much simpler it is to take someone’s identity now, thanks to contemporary technologies.
Michael Finkel hijacked someone else’s identity
This narrative has a karma-like quality to it. Michael Finkel was an author for The New York Times magazine until 2002, when the truth of falsified data was exposed. Finkel authored the account on behalf of Yusuf Male, a little child who was enslaved on coffee plantations. In order to provide information regarding the slave trade in Africa, he constructed a phony identity based on the actual Yusuf Male and many other youngsters, and he attached images of Male to the piece.
Following the publication of this story, an official representative of an organization dedicated to the rescue of children from slavery contacted the magazine’s editorial office and said that the person in the picture was not male at all. The truth was uncovered after that, and he was sacked.
Finkel subsequently discovered that Christian Longo of Michigan, who is accused of murdering his wife and children in 2001, hijacked Michael Finkel’s identity and ran away from the cops for many weeks. Then, before the court, Finkel visited with Longo and spoke to him about why he tried on his personality and why he went to such a hoax, following which he authored a book titled ‘True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa’…
Ferdinand Demara claimed to be a variety of persons
Demara, unlike the other criminal, did not do any damage. He also aided a large number of individuals. This is one of the most well-known impostors, who attempted to impersonate an officer first, then feigned suicide and took the identity of religious psychologist Robert Linton French after that failed. He was eventually apprehended by the FBI and sentenced to 18 months in jail for deserting the army.
Following his release from jail, he assumed another identity, this time that of doctor Joseph Cyr, and joined the Canadian Navy, where he served as a ship’s doctor aboard a ship during the Korean War. And, sure, he did treat the ill there, and he even operated successfully on some badly injured troops. All of this was possible because of his inquisitive mind, which he developed by reading books on how to do procedures.
When a laudatory piece about him was published in the newspaper, it was seen by the mother of the actual Joseph Sira, revealing the fraud. However, Demara was not charged by the Canadian authorities, and he went to the United States, where he had a successful career. Ferdinand Demara wore extraterrestrial disguises for 37 years in all.
Abraham Abdallah took on the personas of well-known persons
The moral of this tale is that even if you are wealthy and famous, you may fall prey to identity thieves. Abraham Abdallah, a 32-year-old Brooklyn native, was accused in 2001 of stealing millions of dollars from celebrities through the Internet. How did he pull it off? The plan turned out to be fairly straightforward.
Abraham Abdallah just went to the local library’s Internet and pieced together information about affluent individuals from interviews with periodicals like Forbes. Abdallah duplicated the identities of affluent individuals for six months before sending them to hundreds of bogus locations in New York. Then he submitted requests for monies to be sent to other locations, verifying them with the victims’ information, including their social security number, which is the country’s universal identity.
Abdallah was delighted and requested a transfer of $10 million from Thomas Sibel’s account, the creator of the electronics giant Siebel Systems. Abraham was arrested after an inquiry. He was able to take the identities of Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and other powerful people, as it proved out.
Thomas Parkin posing as his mother
Men dressed as women in films like Mrs. Doubtfire don’t give themselves away and accomplish their aims. When Thomas Parkin’s 73-year-old mother Irene died in 2003, he apparently had the same thought. Instead of mourning, he forged his mother’s death certificate to make it seem as though she were still alive, and pretended to be her. He used a woman’s wig, cosmetics, and clothing, as well as a cane, to accomplish this.
For his mother, he earned a monthly pension of $700 at first. He then filed for bankruptcy to collect a $39,000 subsidy from the city to help pay for his apartment rent. Parkin pocketed $44,000 in payments for pensions alone. He and his associate Milton Rimolo got around $115,000 from other government-backed fraudulent enterprises.
Thomas Parkin was apprehended in 2009 after he submitted a prosecutor’s complaint regarding the fraudulent sale of Irene’s flat, which he placed up for auction in the guise of his mother. Parkin was found guilty of 11 distinct articles and sentenced to 13 years in prison, while his accomplice was sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Frederic Bourdin put almost 500 distinct personalities
Frederic Bourdin was dubbed the ‘Chameleon’ in the press for his achievements, and a film about him, “The Pretender,” was produced in 2012. Bourdin started experimenting with other people’s characteristics while still a youngster. He ran away from his grandparents and moved to Paris, where he became everything but Frederick. Furthermore, when it came to taking other people’s personalities, Bourdin didn’t do it for selfish reasons; he just enjoyed it.
In Texas, Bourdain pretended to be Nicholas Burkeley’s lost kid, who had been missing for three years. Then he was able to arrange for Nicholas’ parents to meet with him at the American consulate in Spain. Despite the fact that Frederic had brown eyes and Nicholas had blue eyes, and Bourdin spoke with a French accent, he was able to persuade his parents that he was Nicholas, who had been sold into slavery in Europe. Bourdin was then taken to the United States by his adoptive parents.
Berkeley’s lie was discovered when a local investigator suspected him of lying a few months later. Frederick was sentenced to 6 years in jail for fraud when a DNA test revealed that it was not Nicholas.
The jail, however, did not correct Bourdain, and he returned to his old ways, adopting the persona of another lost youngster. Berkeley was deported to France when the deceit was exposed again, but while there, he attempted on another person’s identity, this time a Spanish orphan. He was no longer a teenager at the time, so the guy dressed like one to conceal the deceit.
He meticulously trimmed facial hair and donned hats to mask his receding hairline. He was imprisoned again afterward, but only for a short time before being freed and continuing to steal other people’s identities.