Identity Theft Sends Innocent Student to Jail

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Darrius Whitehorn, a Loyola University criminal justice student spent a week in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Darrius learned the hard way that when it comes to identity theft, you are guilty until proven innocent. It seems his Social Security number and his birthdate matched that of a deceased, convicted robber named Kirk Davis.

Whitehorn's identity theft nightmare began Aug. 17 when Chicago Police officers were searching for a robber in a park where they came across Whitehorn and his friends. They weren't involved in the robberies, but when the police ran Whitehorn's ID, they found an outstanding warrant for his arrest. 

Whitehorn was about to learn he was a victim of identity theft. Though Whitehorn and his parents insisted he was innocent and pleaded with the police department to clear his name and release him -just like many before Darrius, he too found it's not that easy. Darrius would first spend a week locked up, sitting behind bars, for a crime he didn't commit.

It turns out that Kirk Davis, the man who had stolen Whitehorn's identity died in October 2008, and was once the friend of Whitehorn's older brother.

Identity theft is so much more than just making sure your credit is secure. Odds are you are far more likely to have your identity stolen than your car. Yet we secure our cars by locking doors, installing alarm systems and making sure we park in safe areas. Our personal information should be protected and secured with the same intensity.  

Remember, when it comes to identity theft, we are guilty until proven innocent. See more details about this story here: Student Mistakenly Jailed After Identity Theft

Unfortunately, Whitehorn's story isn't an isolated incident.

See earlier blogs;

72 Year Old Man has Identity Stolen; Jailed for Crime He didn't Commit

Identity Theft Victim... Mistaken for Deadly Cop Killer

Identity Thief Sends Innocent Man to Jail

Identity theft lands wrong man in Albuquerque jail for six days

When impostors are arrested, victims get criminal records

For tips on how to keep students (and yourself) safe from identity theft, see yesterday's blog: Identity Theft; Tips for Keeping Students Safe

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Denise, great story and really brings home the point of the importance of protecting yourself from having your identity compromised. Awesome insights and top notch writing. Keep up the great work, I always look forward to reading your posts.

Thanks Scott! That's why I think it is so important we do all we can to find ways to combat the bad guys -not those trying to make a difference. The choice over how and what we do to protect our own information should remain ours.

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