Excuse Me Ma’am, but I Think You Have My Identity

If there is a movie out with Melissa McCarthy, it is guaranteed to be outrageously funny. However, the movie is not guaranteed to be entirely correct. The most recent movie she starred in is called Identity Thief. In the movie, she plays a character that is an expert in stealing people’s identities. She targets one man, played by Jason Bateman, who has a good job, family, and also the name of Sandy, which is commonly thought to be a girl’s name. She gains access to his credit cards, spending a lot of his money on pointless things. He conveniently finds out as he is being promoted to his new job. His new boss thinks that Sandy may be a bad decision for his business, so he calls security officers to handle it. Sandy tries to assure the officers and his boss that his identity had to be stolen. The officers tell him he has no proof of that, so they would have to take him in. They end up striking up a deal where he promises to find the thief, capture them, and bring them to the police by the end of the week. Needless to say, how identity theft is portrayed in the movie is incorrect.

First of all, the thief and the person whose identity is stolen so not normally meet. Also, the thief does not need to be present with the victim in order for the police to make an arrest.  Typically the thief is found and arrested in the area where they live. Charges on identity theft are based on where the crime occurs, not where the victim lives. Crazy as it may seem, much of identity thefts do not happen inside the country. Typically, identities are stolen from the U.S. by other countries.

Next, she is shown stealing people’s identity by getting a hold of their credit cards. Currently, because the majority of banking is online and all you need is email and password to again access to the money, the identity thief does not need the victim’s credit card. The way Melissa’s character stole Jason’s identity is quite possible, but unlikely today because of online banking. Also, the movie makes it seem as if identity thief does not happen frequently. On the contrary it happens all the time. It is a never ending crime, and usually the identity thief gets away with it. Another thing, she holds onto Jason Bateman’s identity for a long time. Normally, the thief will use their money as quick as possible and discard the identity immediately after.

This movie may be funny, but identity thief is a serious problem. It is a crime that happens consistently, can be difficult to find the thief, and the victim can lose a lot of money. Overall, the crime is rather annoying because it is one that is hard to prohibit. The movie ended up a on a good notes though. Melissa McCarthy’s character finds love in Jason Bateman’s family and decides to turn herself in because she knew he was not going to. Sadly she ends up going to jail, but Jason Bateman and his family are frequent visitors.

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