I need a fake ID detector!
May 16, 2007 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Members of my family conspired to create a false identity for a sibling years ago--mine! How can I ensure that this ID is no longer being used?

In the 1990s, I applied for my first driver's license and discovered that a sibling already had a state ID card (non-driver) in my name, but with their home address on it. They also had a warrant out for "my" arrest. It turned out that a family member had given the sibling a copy of my birth certificate. With some help from a lawyer, I was able to clear the warrant and obtain my own license.

While helping organize another relative's papers, I have found some of their canceled checks from around the same period that, while made out to my name, were not signed by me. I'm 99.4% certain that the signer is this same sibling. Great, looks like most of my family was aware of this identify fraud and helped it to happen, yay me!

I'm older and wiser now, and am concerned, while I did get my own driver's license and the warrant struck from my record, that this false identity might still be in use. I would not put it past my sibling, especially if they found themselves in an awkward situation they would rather not take responsibility for.

Without confronting anyone in the family, since they will just lie or yell, is there any way that I can look into DMV or other public records to determine if this ID is still being used? This all happened in California.

For any follow up questions or private messages, I can be reached at siblingrivalry@hushmail.com. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Definitely have a credit check done. Talk to a banker about the best way to do this. Some credit cards offer a service where a credit check is done routinely in a way that doesn't affect your credit rating.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:52 PM on May 16, 2007

Wow, I can't beleive this isn't a post about how evil your some of your family is. Sincere congratulations on being so level headed.

Could a police background check and/or a credit check on your own name be attained?
posted by Kololo at 6:54 PM on May 16, 2007

Honestly, this is identity theft -- for whatever reason. You should take all of the usual steps, like putting a notice on your credit record to really check that it's you before granting credit, etc.

Double check all of the accounts that are in your name on your credit record.
posted by SpecialK at 6:58 PM on May 16, 2007

For what it's worth, I knew where my brother's birth certificate was when I was growing up. No family member needed to give it to me.
posted by rhizome at 7:10 PM on May 16, 2007

You might not want to but the first step would be to have an arrest warrant taken out for the person(s) that cashed the check. From there a court hearing would take place- assuming they arrested the people involved. At this juncture you would request that all mentions of your true identity be cleared of any wrong doing.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:23 PM on May 16, 2007

search for your name on zabasearch. Unless you have a really common name, it shouldn't be too hard to find yourself. Then click on details and it will show you the last two cities that you've lived in. This will confirm that it's you. Then click on background check and pay the $7.95 fee and see what comes up (click the sample report to see what kinds of info might pop up)

I should add that I've never used this feature before (just seen it on the website).
posted by special-k at 8:43 PM on May 16, 2007

A word of caution: searching the names of people with zabasearch can turn up addresses they've never had or used. Ever.
posted by oaf at 9:28 PM on May 16, 2007

According to Zabasearch, my sister moved with me to one of my apartments in the state I now live in (and she never did), so YMMV.
posted by davejay at 10:22 PM on May 16, 2007

Damn, I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to you. I had a friend whose father stole her identity and used it to get a bunch of credit cards in her name which he never paid off. I'm just mentioning this in case it makes you feel a bit less alone, but really, that's just such a horrible thing for your family to do. Seconding the congratulations on seeming so level-headed about this.

If I were you I would check your credit report regularly with Equifax or the credit-reporting agency of your choice to make sure the sibling is not doing anything financially destructive with your identity beyond the other criminal possibilities.
posted by hazyjane at 4:00 AM on May 17, 2007

You say that you have already worked with a lawyer to clear up one aspect of this problem. You might want to consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in identify theft to help you keep the situation clear. You can take potshots at the problem by taking some of the steps described above, but only someone who specializes in the field will know all of the steps you should take, and how to take them most efficiently. (Assuming you get a good specialist, of course.)
posted by alms at 5:09 AM on May 17, 2007

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