The problem of identity theft doesn’t pertain to one group of people or another. Often, it’s not due to carelessness. Celebrities have to deal with the annoyance of theft and they have plenty of money to steal.
Steven Spielberg experienced a case of identity theft, only he had nothing stolen besides his privacy. In the mid-90s, Spielberg had his personal information used to allow an inmate in a Tennessee prison keep watch on Spielberg’s American Express credit card. The man later claimed he did it to supply the celebrity’s information to a Hollywood studio. Apparently this genius thought he could make money by getting a movie made, the plot surrounding the information.
Liv Tyler had a bout with an identity thief in 2011. Her hairstylist used her credit card number to help herself to plenty of merchandise and services around town. When caught, it seems the stylist didn’t use Tyler’s card alone. She used Anne Hathaway, Penelope Cruz and Melanie Griffith’s card information as well. Tips and payment aren’t enough?
Ricky Gervais was on the receiving end of a fraud in 2009. Using an insider at the bank to obtain Gervais’ information, the group of thieves transferred 200,000 pounds from his bank account. The cash was to be used to secure gold bullion. While the scheme seems fairly clever, the identification they used was a passport, with a cutout photograph of Gervais. The pic was taken off the DVD box of “The Office.” They needed the identification to pick up the gold they had purchased.
Paris Hilton had her name used in setting up a website. The site was dubbed Paris.org. She caught sight of the site and let the thieves know her name is a trademark. Being registered as a trademark, she informed the thieves that she wanted payment for the use of her name. Later, her run-in with a teen in Minnesota cost her information being posted online. Apparently the teen had hacked in to Ms. Hilton’s phone.
A busboy was not using his head when he stole Ms. Oprah Winfrey’s social security number, birth dates of friends and relatives and even addresses of Oprah and 200 of the Richest People in America list published in Forbes. With the use of cell phones, a library computer and people imitating couriers, the thief snagged all of this info from credit protection services and reporting through Equifax. One of the unlucky few involved was once again, Steven Spielberg.
Known criminal, Anthony Lemar Taylor, picked a good one. He obtained Tiger Woods’ information after finding his information was not that secure. Taylor purchased $50,000 in merchandise. To top it all off, Taylor procured a fake license to drive, social security card and a military I.D, all in Tiger’s name. This bright guy even misspelled Tiger’s middle name wrong on the document’s but managed to still fill a storage unit to the hilt with stolen goods.
Will Smith found several fake accounts were used to grab $33,000 under his real name, William C. Smith. The 2009 incident wasn’t the first time for the thief. He had been arrested before for stealing the former Atlanta Hawks basketball player, Steve Smith’s name. He was still on parole for the prior arrest. Some folks never learn.