I recently had the opportunity to view a movie that originally aired in 2004, “Identity Theft: The Michelle Brown Story,” starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley. I found it to be a poignant drama that can teach us a lot about how to not become a victim, and it gives us a glimpse into the mind of an identity thief.
The movie is based on a true story. Michelle Brown was a woman who became the victim of identity theft, and the woman who stole her identity became obsessed with Brown, and wanted to become Brown, and was even willing to harm her to make it happen. Brown eventually testified before Congress in 2000, helping to pass stricter laws and create tougher penalties for identity theft.
There have been lots of movies and television shows that have dealt with this subject matter. There is even a new show in the UK currently that centers around an elite squad of detectives who focus only on identity theft cases. Art does, indeed, imitate life.
But it’s by observing what happens in these fictional pieces that we can learn. It helps to look at the processes that a thief uses to steal an identity. It’s important to look at this in order to see how easy it can be for some people to steal identities and to get an idea of what types of people these thieves target.
It’s also important to look at the behaviors leading up to the theft. Did the character give her personal information to someone she thought she could trust? Did she become careless with how her personal information was handled by herself or others? Did she not protect her information online?
You should also look at what happens after the theft occurs. Pay attention to the damage that is done, and all that it takes to get things back to normal.
Granted, this is fiction, and what happens at the movies isn’t always realistic. But this type of crime is an increasing threat, and it pays to learn as much as you can to prevent it from happening to you.
And that’s worth the price of admission.