Recently, the Bellevue, Washington police broke up an identity theft ring that was counterfeiting phony credit cards, forged checks, phony identification cards and drivers’ licenses. In fact, among the phony drivers licenses confiscated by the police was one that must have been done as a test of their counterfeiting equipment because it was a phony driver’s license for Mickey Mouse or as the license read, Mick E. Mouse. The identity thief obviously knew his Disney history because for the birth date of Mick, it listed November 18, 1928 which was the date of the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie.” The license also listed Mick as five feet two inches tall, and 119 pounds. Being a socially responsible mouse, Mick was also listed as an organ donor on his license. The picture on the license is unmistakeably that of Mickey Mouse.
Although the identity theft of Mickey Mouse is humorous, identity theft is far from humorous when it comes to real people having their identities stolen. In this case, the identity theft ring in Bellevue obtained the information necessary to steal people’s identities in two primary ways. They stole mail from people’s mailboxes that often had credit card bills and checks in envelopes meant for creditors as well as stealing personal information from documents and materials that people left in their cars. Breaking into cars to steal wallets, IDs or other personal information that can be used for identity theft purposes is a common tactic of identity thieves. The lesson is to mail your bill payments from the post office if you are not paying your bills on line which is actually the safer choice. You also should never leave anything in your car, even if it is locked, that could be used by a criminal to steal your identity.