No matter how much effort you put into protecting yourself, there is always a thief who thinks he is one step ahead. And in most instances, he’s waiting on you to let your guard down so he can strike. Bottom line: Steal your wallet, steal your life. You let mail out of your sight or forget your phone for 30-seconds and your information is compromised. The good news is there are tons of identity-theft-related resources to help get back on track if your identity is compromised. Though, if the criminals stay this dumb, at least they’ll get caught.
Here are five cases of criminal attempts gone terribly wrong:
1.Let’s Have a Photo Shoot!
Thinking about invading the nearest photo booth and flicking it up with a few of your closest friends? Go for it, and don’t forget to use a stolen credit card to cover the fee. Just kidding—unless you want to create a paper trail and make it easier than ever for law enforcement to find you. Apparently, a group on Maryland teens didn’t get the memo. Not only did they use the credit card within close proximity from where it was stolen to purchase movie tickets, they decided to have a mini photo shoot before departing the premises. Too bad they forgot about surveillance because they were identified shortly after the incriminating images were released to the public.
2. Show Me Your ID!
Imagine how weird it would be if you were handed a copy of the driver’s license you’d misplaced just a few days earlier? Pretty awkward! It pays for criminals to check the images on the plastic before attempting to use them. A 26-year-old Colorado woman didn’t perform the proper due diligence and accidentally handed an Applebee’s waitress her own stolen driver’s license as proof of her age. Even more ironic, the perpetrator could have used her own identification to order drinks.
3. The Bike Bandit
If you’re going to ride around town snatching up bicycles belonging to others, it may not be such a wise idea to resell them online. Reasoning: chances are the victims will be on the lookout for a new bicycle, and you definitely don’t want them stumbling across the set of wheels that was once in their possession. A San Francisco man who had engaged in this form of theft for several years was finally stopped dead in his tracks when he made the mistake of attempting to sell a victim his own property via Craigslist.
4. Unlucky Apple iPhone Snatcher
Smartphones and devices are indeed, smart. But apparently, some don’t believe they actually live up to their name. One of the most favorable smart features is the GPS-tracking mechanism, which can be a godsend if you’re trying to find your way. But it can be a curse if the device in your possession doesn’t actually belong to you. Regarding the latter, a San Francisco man learned this lesson the hard way. While cruising down the sidewalk on his bicycle, he managed to swipe an iPhone from an innocent woman. What he didn’t realize was that the GPS tracking had been activated. It was only a matter of seconds before he was tracked down, because as cruel fate would have it, this woman was part of a GPS demo on that particular phone, jokes on him!
5. Dinner, Anyone?
There’s nothing more exciting to a hungry individual than a scrumptious meal from a fine dining establishment. But that’s only if the tab is being covered with your own funds. If not, posting the pics on social media could equal big trouble. Turns out, a Florida couple who was already suspected of identity theft and tax fraud, was captured by law enforcement thanks to a picture of a steak dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse made possible by proceeds from thousands of erroneous refunds from the stolen identities of victims by the IRS.