Leave a comment

The terrifying case of an ID theft victim's wrongful arrest

The terrifying case of an ID theft victim's wrongful arrest
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

This is absolutely terrifying. If you wrote a list of your greatest fears, being arrested and taken to jail for a crime you didn't commit has to be at the top.

You've heard about people spending years or decades in prison for crimes they were falsely accused of committing. By the time they're cleared, their lives and their family's lives are already ruined.

So, you can imagine how scary it was for a Colorado dad who was arrested in front of his kids one morning and taken to jail. This guy, a cybersecurity professional who took some precautions to protect himself, was a victim of identity theft.

Less than three days prior to being arrested, Lance Miller's wallet was stolen from inside his car. Of course, as someone working for a cybersecurity company, he should've known the risks of having his identity stolen.

He took the usual steps to protect himself, but only after the fact. He alerted his credit card companies to block the cards from new charges.

When Miller realized his wallet had been stolen, he also contacted the police department. It didn't matter much. The criminal used Miller's ID when he was stopped for several driving violations the next couple of days.

Plus, the criminal drained $5,000 from Miller's bank account and maxed out his credit cards. Those charges included purchases at a gas station, where the attendant called police.

The attendant thought the criminal who had stolen Miller's wallet was acting strange. His call led local police to arrest the ID theft victim, Miller, not the criminal.  The criminal, a white supremacist, was eventually caught and arrested for his crimes.

Miller was handcuffed. It took police the duration of a half-hour car ride to jail to realize that they had arrested the wrong person, and apologized to him.

As cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs observes: "It's remarkable how quickly a stolen purse or wallet can morph into a full-blown identity theft, and possibly even result in the victim's wrongful arrest."

 

Next Story
Busted! The reason Apple computers aren't nearly as secure as you think
Previous Happening Now

Busted! The reason Apple computers aren't nearly as secure as you think

Cybersecurity report card: How 6 presidential candidates stack up
Next Happening Now

Cybersecurity report card: How 6 presidential candidates stack up

View Comments ()