Passports are amazing tools that enable people to travel around the world and experience a wonderful life! However, once your life is over, – your passport may get some extra mileage – as a source of identity theft!
In July, Federal officers arrested John Skelton, a British citizen upon his arrival at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Skelton was carrying a passport that belonged to Kurt Branham, who died in 1994.
Identity theft is a very serious crime, but stealing the identity of the deceased is just downright despicable. Skelton was charged with passport identity fraud, making false statements and impersonating a U.S. citizen.
Skelton, 41, who lives in Baltimore, took a trip to his native UK. Upon arrival back in the US, he presented a fraudulently obtained US Passport and was arrested.
Skelton’s arrest is part of Operation Death Match that involves cross-checking computer records with US Dept of State passport records. Since 2005, over 150 holders of fraudulent passports have been apprehended. It turns out that in 2005 Skelton used Branham’s identity to obtain the passport.
People looking to obtain fraudulent passports have been known to employ many different methods. They read the obituaries and visit cemeteries in search of someone of approximately the same age. Then they use this information to apply for and obtain various documents in the dead person’s name. Then they use those documents to apply for the passport.
If you are alive and you would like to obtain a genuine US Passport or US Passport Card, visit us at http://www.rushpassport.com or call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with a Live Passport Agent. (877) 937-7277 (All 50 States) or (212) 643-9305 New York Passport Agency.