In my romantic suspense novel, Absolute Recall, Reagan Martin, a quick-witted young nurse blessed with an eidetic memory finds herself on a perilous journey, forced to assume fraudulent identities while struggling to stay a step ahead of the evil trailing her.  When involved in my research, I was both amazed and appalled at the plethora of information available, on the internet alone, regarding identity theft inclusive of easy-to-find how-to manuals.

In short order, I learned how to obtain a new birth certificate simply by examining birth and death records.  Equipped with that and a good sob story, (lost everything in a fire, my mother purged my room, got divorced, just beamed down from Romulus) other documents would surely follow.

And were you aware that social security numbers are not reassigned after a person dies?  The number is removed from active files and stored in a data base.

An identity thief can get to you easier than you think.

*  By stealing your purse containing your wallet.

*  By stealing your mail (bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit card offers, new checks).

*  unsecured sites on the internet.

*  posing on the phone as someone who legitimately needs information such as your doctors office.

*  thieves will pay a store employee for your information.

*  completed credit card applications left by store registers.

This is written to be helpful and not intended as a springboard to your life of crime.  Although, I give thought to whether a new identity would help in securing a literary agent or publisher for my book.  Maybe I should begin with Agatha Christie. . . .  Oh, come on! It’s not like she’s using it.

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