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10 of the Most Interesting Identity-Theft Stories

6. In 2001, Marcelo Rocha Birth, a drug smuggler from Brazil, assumed the identity of a businessman, Henrique Constantino, son of the owner of Gol Airlines, to get into an off-season carnival party, “Recifolia.” He was also recognized by a woman he slept with who knew the real Constantino.

Marcelo Rocha Birth
Marcelo Rocha Birth (left) Henrique Constantino (Right) Image credits: olhardireto.com.br, jovempan.com.br

Constantino was also one of the directors of Gol Airlines. The event, Recifolia, was partly sponsored by Gol, and there were many celebrities present on the occasion. Some of the celebrities were Ricardo Macchi, Maria Paula, Carolina Dickmann, Amuary, and Joana Prado.

Marcelo impersonated Constantino and arrived at the event in a helicopter with two security guards, made friends with the guests, and spent most of the time with Ricardo Macchi.

After finishing the event, Marcelo rented a jet from the company Lider and flew to Rio de Janeiro to meet with another group of celebrities.

However, at the Santos Dumont Airport, he caught the attention of the Federal Police and was arrested. (Source)

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7. A 33-year-old woman, Barbora Skrlova, posed as a 13-year-old boy named “Adam” and spent four months in an Oslo children’s home in Norway. She shaved her head and bounded her breasts so she would look like a boy. 

Barbora Skrlova- identity-theft stories
Barbora Skrlova. Image credits: Jaroslav Šnajdr, Právo via novinky.cz

Skrlova had been running away from Czech authorities since 2007 just to avoid giving a testimony of a case involving child abuse.

Skrlova enrolled in a school in Oslo in September after a woman introduced Skrlova as her son. Teachers mentioned that they did indeed notice unusual behavior in Adam, but they chose to ignore it since children of this age group can behave likewise.

Out of nowhere in mid-December, Adam went missing from the school, and a nationwide investigation was carried out. Only after this research was it found out that the boy was actually Skrlova, the runaway criminal from the Czech Republic. She was caught in the Arctic City of Tromso.

Skrlova was then charged with allegations of identity theft and misleading authorities. She was sentenced to a Czech prison in Brno. (1, 2)

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8. Raphael Golb had familial reasons for his identity-theft quest. His father, a professor at the University of Chicago, came up with a controversial theory on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The theory was not much appreciated by fellow scholars, so Raphael picked up the identities of his father’s colleagues and forged statements supporting the theory on the Internet. 

Raphael Golb
Image credits: Edwina Ramade via raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com

The beginning of the entire case began when students and professors of New York University started receiving emails that suggest Lawrence Schiffman had plagiarized the work of another Jewish history professor, Norman Golb.

The incident raised a heated debate on the 2,000-year-old scrolls, and in 2009, it was clear that Raphael was the culprit behind all the fake messages.

Raphael had published a series of blogs and 70 fake email accounts to tarnish the image of his father’s detractors.

In 2010, Golb was convicted for identity theft and other crimes and was sentenced to six months in jail. (Source)

9. This is an ironic case of the CEO of an identity-theft protection company, LifeLock. To boast about the services of the company, Todd Davis, the CEO, revealed his Social Security Number publicly. He then became a victim of identity theft more than 13 times.

Lifelock advertisement
Lifelock advertisement. Image credits: riskmanagementmonitor.com

Davis admitted that he faced identity theft first in 2007 after revealing his Social Security Number. The thief who stole his identity took out a $500 loan which ended up being handled by a collection agency. Many cases had been recorded since then of different thieves using Davis’ numbers to do frauds and claim loans.

According to Davis, hundreds of attempts have been made to use his personal information, among which, 13 had been successful, but he had not actually lost any money.

However, the company was charged with deceptive advertising by the Federal Trade Commission, and the fine was $12 million. (1, 2)

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10. Abraham Abdallah infiltrated the financial accounts of more than 200 individuals on Forbes magazine’s annual list of richest people in the US. Abdallah, a 32-year-old restaurant worker, executed the biggest identity theft in Internet history. 

Abraham Abdallah - identity-theft stories
Image credits: elmundo.es

The victims on his list include Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Larry Ellison. Abdallah literally used the web in his local Brooklyn library to track down the confidential information and gained access to their bank, brokerages, and credit cards.

While collecting the evidence, police found the Forbes magazine article had included all the required information including the victim’s US Social Security Numbers.

For six months, the criminal cloned the identities of these rich people and set up fake New York addresses for postal deliveries.

After all the proofs and evidence, Abdallah still refused to plead guilty to the charges of possessing forged devices, stealing property, and criminal impersonation. (1, 2)

Also read: 10 of the Most Famous Unsolved Crimes From Around the World

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