The 5 Most Idiotic Identity Thieves
A man walked into a Wichita, Kansas, police station, told cops that he had assumed the identity of a local homeowner, and informed them that they should ignore anyone who called to report him as an imposter or a thief. Bold, yes. Smart? Not so much. The police investigated, and arrested the man and his wife, saying he’d racked up credit card purchases in the homeowner’s name and even invited neighbors over for parties. Authorities said the imposter and his wife even took out a second mortgage under the stolen identity. The real homeowner had been away for months caring for his sick mother. The fake agent might have gotten away with taking over everything the man owned had he not felt the need to involve the cops in his crime.
4 The High Price of Pizza
Harrun Majeed dropped his credit card while buying a birthday cake for his son. When he called his bank to report the lost card, he was informed it had already been used. Majeed called police, who found a man still waiting for the pizzas authorities said he had paid for with Majeed’s credit card. Dr. Richard Ludwig, a dentist with a net worth of a few million dollars, had more than enough cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest to buy the pizzas. Ludwig, who police say signed the credit card slip with his own name, was accused of credit card theft and fraud.
3 Seeing Double
During the two weeks following the theft of her wallet, someone used Applebee’s server Brianna Priddy’s identity to write hundreds of dollars in bad checks, and then, police say, that someone walked into Applebee’s, sat in Priddy’s section, and used Priddy’s ID to buy drinks. Priddy said nothing to the imposter. She handed the ID back, said she’d be right back with the woman’s margarita, and called the cops. It turned out that the thief was old enough to buy a drink with her own ID, and had no need to flash the fake one.
2 Worst Costume Ever
This hapless suspect is accused of entering a Des Moines, Washington, Bank of America branch dressed in a bizarre outfit and using another man’s ID to request a new debit card. The man claimed to have been in an accident, and wore a lopsided bandage on his head and a neck brace. The bank manager, upon seeing the hilarious getup—which included an oversized suit and ill-fitting gray wig with matching eyebrows and moustache—quickly called police. Joshua K. Pinney was charged with second-degree identity theft in 2012.
1 Third Time Not So Charming
Busboy Abraham Abdallah used the Internet to access the finances of rich folks like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, authorities say. At first this seems smart, because those fancy-pants celebrities would never notice a few hundred siphoned from their credit cards, but Abdallah got greedy and was caught after trying to make a $10 million transfer. This wasn’t Abdallah’s first round as a failed thief. After his capture and conviction on 12 counts of fraud in 2001, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He’d already served a three-year sentence in the United States for bank and credit card fraud, and another jail term in the Virgin Islands for trying to cash a fake $50,000 check prior to his attempt to steal celebrity identities.