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Victim Rebuilds Life After Identity Theft

This story is about a victim of criminal identity theft. The victim is a trucker who discovered that his identity had been stolen when his commercial driver’s license was suspended because the thief who stole his identity had been busted for drinking and driving on four different occasions. Imagine.

The consequences of identity theft are often so overwhelming that the pressure affects every aspect of the victims’ lives. Sometimes the stress is so great that people just fall apart. In the case, the victim lost his license, his possessions, and his marriage.

After testifying against the identity thief, the victim, Earl Robert Hood, told the Associated Press, “It was just hard to sit there in that room with him, knowing what he’d done to me and my family. It’s not just me that it affected; it affected all four of my children, too. Because for two years, they didn’t have Christmas.” The victim went on to say the thief didn’t just steal his name; he stole his life. “I’ve lost everything,” he said. “It just completely wiped me out.”

When this victim’s commercial driver’s license was suspended, so was his ability to earn a living. With no money coming in, bills piled up and the downward spiral began.

Hood’s identity was stolen after he handed his personal information over to a potential employer. Job applications often require applicants to provide home addresses, copies of existing driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, and, in some cases, birth certificates. This is more than enough information for an identity thief to assume a victim’s full identity.

Victims of identity theft are generally presumed guilty until proven innocent. In this case, the perpetrator committed crimes in multiple states, which further complicated the situation. It took years for this victim to recover his license, even after contacting his state’s Attorney General.

Identity theft can happen to anyone.  

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