S604: How to disappear part 4
Play • 54 min

Confessions of a former identity thief 

Dartanyon A. Williams stole his parents' identities at the age of 15. Unfortunately, they weren’t his last victims. Dartanyon, who also goes by DAW, claims he has stolen thousands of identities. So many that he lost count. 

How to steal someone’s identity

How did he do it? He had many tactics. But the most proven technique was paying off employees at restaurants, car dealerships, and tax preparation companies. These employees served as double agents. When no one was looking, they would collect customer social security numbers and smuggle them to DAW. Today, DAW’s life of crime is behind him. He’s currently running for congress this November for the U.S. House to represent Louisiana's 6th Congressional District. 

How to protect your identity

These days, it’s just as easy to steal your identity from a breached database. Everything an identity thief needs to steal your identity is already online. What can you do to protect yourself? 

Click here to see if your email has been involved in a breached database:


Freezing your credit and setting up a fraud alert

I’ve taken the extreme step of freezing my credit. It’s actually not really that extreme. In fact, it’s quite easy. In this episode, you’ll hear how simple it is to lock down your credit so that no one can assume your identity. 

Michael Bazzell, a privacy consultant, walks me through the credit freeze process. For more details, download his step-by-step guide

Essentially, get a free credit report from one of the credit bureaus, then ask them to freeze your credit. This way, no one can open a line of credit under your name. If you ever need to unfreeze your credit, it’s easy. Just unfreeze your credit by going online or with a quick phone call. 


Online: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/


Online: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html


Online: https://service.transunion.com/dss/orderStep1_form.page

Michael Bazzell

To learn more about Michael Bazzell, check out his website IntelTechniques.com and listen to his podcast The Privacy, Security, & OSINT show

I also recommend you buy a copy of Extreme Privacy: What it takes to disappear.


Story idea?

If you have a story to share, email Javier a voice memo or short written description at info@pretendradio.org.

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