Axton Betz-Hamilton

Identity theft is a many tentacled beast, but when a relative or close family friend steals a child’s identity, it’s particularly heinous.

Author and professor Axton Betz-Hamilton knows a lot about the topic of child identity theft. She learned about it the hard way. Her credit was completely destroyed by the time she first went to use it as a freshman in college. All in, her family got hit for more than $600,000. 

This story revolves around an early case of identity theft (we’re talking 1980s). Back then, there was little in the way of prevention, and almost no recourse for the victims of identity theft who were deemed guilty until proven innocent in most cases. 

The damage sustained by the Betz-Hamiltons was so bad they stopped talking to anyone who might have been behind the crimes–which led to decades of estrangement from family and friends. When the identity of Axton’s identity thief was finally revealed, it was a life-changing event.  

This week’s episode of “What the Hack with Adam Levin” is the first of a two-episode installment: Growing up in the shadow of child identity theft. 

“What the Hack with Adam Levin” is available wherever you get your audio. Oh, and a small favor: If you like WTH, consider giving us 5 stars on Apple or writing a review. It really helps people find the show.