Published Jul 16, 2010In one of the oddest cases of identity theft we've seen, a lookalike and soundalike of AC/DC's Brian Johnson was recently scammed into thinking that he was being signed by Columbia Records to sing for the band. Believing that his dream was coming true, the victim willingly relinquished everything the identity thieves needed to run wild with his name and set up bogus credit cards.
As Seattle's KIRO TV reports [via The Daily Swarm], the Johnson lookalike, a Seattle resident named Gary Edwards, gave the "Columbia executives" his social security number, his family's address, dates of births, and copies of his and his wife Aaricka Ludgood's signatures.
It began when Edwards received a phone call offering him the chance to join AC/DC in London and go on tour. Edwards was offered a $17,000 signing bonus, a Columbia Records contract and the chance to live out his dream.
"It felt like a winning lottery ticket," Ludgood said, with Edwards adding "I thought i was going to sing for AC/DC."
U.S. Federal Trade Commission worker Bob Schroeder admitted the case is one of the most elaborate he's seen. The identity thieves set the whole thing up to look 100 percent legitimate, so that Edwards would have no inhibitions about giving up valuable information that would, according to Schroeder, "allow someone [...] to create credit card accounts in your name."
The couple even made reservations at a restaurant where they were told to meet with a label executive to finalize details.
"I feel stupid. I should've known better. How could I have been so gullible?" said Edwards.
Ludgood provided the answer, stating: "You want to believe. You put so much work into what you're doing that this has to be real."
The Federal Trade Commission points out that the couple are still in hot water, as Edwards's information is still floating around, and warns anyone who thinks they might be a victim of identity theft to report it immediately, put a fraud alert on all your credit cards and monitor your accounts closely.
And, in case it bears mentioning, don't go giving out your social security/insurance number willy-nilly.