In a recent story, an Iowa man was arrested for impersonating a woman in order to steal her identity. Not only did the man go so far as to dress like the woman, but he also used her information to obtain a driver’s license. Charged with theft, identity theft, and forgery, the man will face 10 years in prison. This leaves people wondering how common it is for people to cross-dress in order to steal someone’s identity.
A search on Google reveals that it’s quite common for people to cross-dress to make identity theft easier. Not only was a man caught in Florida cross-dressing to use stolen credit cards, but one man in California dressed like his victim for 13 years before finally being caught. Of course, it’s not only checks and credit cards that are getting stolen by cross-dressing identity thieves. Some are using identities to steal medical services.
It’s truly shocking the number of crimes that have been carried out by those dressed as the opposite sex. Not only do people have to worry about others of their own gender stealing their identity, but they have to worry about everyone stealing their identity. What’s stranger is that cross-dressing isn’t the most extreme changes people have made to steal someone’s identity.
Some people may goes as far as to alter their appearance. This is very common with those that are related to the person in question. For example, a woman may change her hair and makeup to match that of her sister is order to cash her paycheck. More extreme cases might involve someone bleaching or tanning their skin to look more like the victim. In the most extreme cases, those hoping to steal the identity of someone rich may even go under the knife to physically alter their appearance.
Of course, cross-dressing to carry out a crime is nothing new. One story dates back to 1836 in which a cross-dressing man posed as a prostitute in order to steal men’s wallets. While the man that reported having his wallet stolen didn’t report that the prostitute was male, the police soon found out when searching the criminal for the stolen wallets.
The best way to protect yourself from this type of identity is to be careful with your information and financial documents. Always keep your license, Social Security card, and other identity documents in a safe place and never throw away documents without shredding them. This will help prevent criminals from gaining the information they need to get identification in your name.