TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – An unusually crisp driver’s license photo led to an identity theft discovery a week ago in Tulsa, leaving an Oklahoma man scrambling to get it sorted out.
It was a nightmare scenario for Perry Allison. Someone stole his identity, creating a driver’s license with his name on it and tried to open multiple lines of credit with it. He said the first one that caught the fraud was a bank he didn’t even use. The person behind this took a random picture and put it on an Oklahoma driver’s license and only changed a few details on it before hitting the banks to make his move.
“Here you are just going about your day,” Allison said. “The next thing, you get a phone call, and everything just changed at that point to trying to do damage control and protect myself.”
Allison said his credit wasn’t damaged and he didn’t lose any money as far as he knew. Still, he said dealing with identity theft has been frustrating to say the least.
“I wanted to find this guy and have a nice little chat with him,” Allison said.
It all started with someone creating an ID in his name. The person who did it placed a random picture onto a driver’s license and only changed a few key details, like height, weight, hair and eye color. They kept just about everything else on the license the same.
“It got interesting in a hurry,” Allison said.
Comparing Allison’s license with the fake, it was the image on the fake license that led the bank to catch the fraud.
“The image was super clear, crisp and just didn’t look like it belonged,” said John Freeman, president and CEO of First Oklahoma Federal Credit Union.
According to Freeman, they have seen about a 50 percent rise in fraud attempts over the past two years.
“They get more and more creative,” he said.
The bank ran a reverse google image search on the picture. They found it had been used in several other states as well.
“The rarity is when you actually get a Social Security number and have the rest of the information,” Freeman said.
According to Freeman, this particular instance involving Allison is one of those rare times. He said it only happens about one in 10 times. This is because the identity thief had the Social Security number and everything to commit fraud.
Meanwhile, Perry said the situation forced him to get on the phone with the different credit agencies and gather documents to sort it out. He said he urges Oklahomans to put a fraud alert on their credit so they don’t have to go through what he did.
“You hope and you pray that you don’t go through it, but it’s not uncommon for it to happen,” Allison said.
Perry said he has filed a police report with the Tulsa Police Department. He was told the picture on the fake license may or may not be the person committing the crime. He is continuing to work through the situation.