5 Silver Linings Now That Identity Theft Ruined Your Life

#2. Can reinvent yourself

One of the most troubling parts of being a victim of identity theft is the loss of your sense of self. The very idea that someone else out there is using your name can be very psychologically traumatic, and lead to some very hard questions about what exactly it means to be "you."

Aside from "constantly covered in cheeto dust."

The upshot of this is that you can use these moments of inner reflection to adjust your role in life, remodeling yourself to adopt qualities you'd prefer to have. Look to fictional examples to guide you. Some of the greatest heroes in cinematic history are marked by their mysterious non-identities. A fine example is Clint Eastwood's classic protagonist, The Man with No Name, who just wanders from town to town, shooting people and looking awesome in a poncho. That could be you! Probably without the shooting.

No. Yeah. Definitely without the shooting.

What this would look like

You: Hello.

Woman on Bus: Hi.

You: I couldn't help but notice that you just got on at 14th Street. I'm new in town and am trying to learn the ropes. Do you like my poncho?

Woman on Bus: -silence, turns away and fixes gaze out window-

You: I was wondering if you knew of any large bounties recently posted, or gang feuds that I might try and turn to my advantage.

Don't be dissuaded by her refusal to make eye contact. That brick wall she's examining out there is pretty remarkable.

Woman on Bus: -pulls the cord for the next stop-

You: You've got a face which I'm going to trust for no reason, so I don't mind telling you that I am pretty lonely. My wife left me for this Russian hacker and now I can't get a boat loan or anything. Also, dogs keep barking at me. I basically just move from town to town now, talking to people on the bus. Sort of like this, but usually a little more awkwardly. Now, I know we've just met, so I hope you won't be cross if I ask you to take me in and care for me. I've got nothing to offer in return but my love ...

And a ridiculously filthy poncho.

Woman on Bus: -pulls the cord for the next stop again, hard-

You: ... and the words of the great Kenny Rogers. -standing, singing boisterously- Oh you've got to know when to hold em'. Know when to fold em! Know when to walk away. And know when to run ...

Woman on Bus: -hurriedly leaves bus-

#1. What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger

It's widely suspected amongst writers of this article that much like fighting off the chicken pox, once you've had your identity stolen once, it's almost certain you'll never fall victim to such a crime again. When asked to comment on this possibility, every identity theft expert we asked refused to confirm or deny the notion, or even to acknowledge us with anything beyond a blank stare. Which tells us we must be close to the truth. You can thus safely conclude that this identity theft experience will cause your body to develop mechanisms to protect you from these types of attacks in the future.

Living the rest of your life as a hermit counts as a 'defense mechanism'.

What this would look like

You: -years later- Boy am I sure glad that things are back to normal.

Shifty Fellow: Excuse me sir, I'm trying to draw a very short straight line. Can I borrow your credit card for a moment, to serve as a straight-edge?

"Your social security card will work too."

You: Of course friend! -reaches for wallet, then immediately go into spasms as body reacts to danger-


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