Some convicted sex offenders, when faced with the need to register for the next 20 years, change their identity instead. It’s estimated that over 15% of sex offenders steal information for a new identity rather than filing with authorities. That’s because lawful registration can make it difficult to rent a home or find a job.
One common method to acquire a new identity is to steal identifying information from a relative or close friend. Often the necessary data—Social Security number, driver’s license, date of birth—is simple to obtain. Another possibility is to use a synthesized identity theft by combining a stray Social Security number (SSN) with a fake name.
A 2015 study by Utica College’s Center for Identity Management and Information Protection estimating that 16% of all sex offenders choose identity theft. However, the size of the problem could be bigger because not every sex offender gets caught and not every convict registers with authorities.
Uncovering this sex offense-based identity crime is a challenge, but sometimes a case grabs headlines. Last summer, Marcus Calvillo of Texas took the first steps to recovering his identity after a sex offender was charged with misusing it for 26 years. That ID theft cost Calvillo jobs, gave him employment tax bills for places he never worked and even saw his driver’s license suspended. His tormentor was sentenced to just 18 months in prison.
Avoid Marcus Calvillo’s fate. ID Watchdog recommends that you always watch for red flags including data in your credit records that just don’t make sense. That could be a bill for taxes you don’t owe or debts you never incurred. Gain peace of mind with ID Watchdog; we monitor your personal information around the clock to ensure your identity is safe and secure.