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Thursday, January 12, 2012

You've got questions, I've got answers. An update on last week's post. Spoiler: No I haven't found her :(

I know some people may question just how my sister took my identity or ran up any fraudulent debt. It was really easy for her to do.

Right after I graduated school, when I still had contact with Donna, I joined the Army. In Basic Training and AIT (MP school) if anyone wrote us they would write our names, followed by our social security numbers, then our unit and so on. Brilliant, right? Nothing like that sense of security, huh?

We lost contact with me moving to Germany for my first tour and her getting into more and more trouble with the law. I had tracked my sister down when I was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wa. It was painstaking and not easy. But I did do it. I was not mad at her. I just wanted to help her; I wanted my "Donna" back. She admitted to me that she had gotten a driver’s license from the state of Florida with my information on it but her picture. I was shocked and could not figure out how this had happened. She was really quite proud of herself and was shocked at how easy she had accomplished "assuming someone else’s identity". 

She went into the DMV and told them her purse had gotten stolen and that her driver's license was in the purse, so therefor it was stolen as well. She was informed that this happens all the time, all they needed was her name, date of birth, home of record, and social security number. Not that hard, she was my sister. She knew my full name, date of birth, home of record (duh, my home of record is her home of record) and thanks for the Army she knew my SSN.

Even back then the system was computerized. They pulled up my (as in MY driver’s license) and took a good look at it. She and I look(ed) a lot alike. All she had to say was "Sorry, I've put on a few pounds since High School", since she did weigh a little more than me back them. That excuse was good enough for them and they took her pic, printed out a new license and sent her on her way. She was now Lisa Smith and had a clean slate. No police record, no creditors coming after her. She was golden.



She did tell me that she had another name she went by, too. I asked her how she pulled that one off. She was even more excited about how she accomplished this.

"It's really easy," she told me. "But it takes some research. You just have to find someone who is about your age-or who would be your age. But who died before their first birthday. But they had to have died in another state than the one they were born. States don't cross check. You request the birth certificate from the city, then the social, and now you're a whole new person."

It scared me how versed she was in scamming and cheating and lying. But she was still my sister. And I still thought I could "save" her. I found out that I could not.