Identity theft is a serious issue that affects millions of people every year. Despite taking precautions, such as canceling or pausing credit cards and setting alerts with credit reporting bureaus, people still fall victim to this crime. One such victim is Jonathan Norton, a touring drummer with Lucinda Williams.
In 2020, Norton had his wallet stolen out of his car. When he found out, he canceled his credit cards and replaced his driver’s license. However, the original driver’s license was still out there, and several years later, Norton began having issues. It started with a traffic ticket showing up in his mailbox.
To Norton’s surprise, the man captured on the officer’s body camera who presented Norton’s driver’s license at the traffic stop for a blown-out headlight in September 2022 was not him. It didn’t take much to prove that the man was not Norton. The officer handling the traffic incident sent Norton a picture of the man, and Norton took a selfie and sent it back. The officer’s response was, “Holy crap.”
After that, Norton began receiving notices in the mail from Costco stores in Woodland Hills and Van Nuys. The license was all the crooks needed to go on three shopping sprees at Costco.
“With the temporary card and my driver’s license, [he] was able to write a check that he had fabricated in my name, with my name on the checks, with a false company, and it was on Bank of America,” Norton said.
But the story becomes even crazier. The man who Costco said was posing as Norton and passing the phony checks looked nothing like the man who passed as Norton in the original traffic stop.
The most shocking use of Norton’s ID came just a few months ago. Norton had just finished a show in Hamburg, Germany, when at 2 a.m., he received a call from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. A homeless man with Norton’s ID was treated and brought to the hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Norton said the hospital was calling him to follow up on treatment and to “see if we can help you with your heroin addiction.” It was obviously not Norton, but that didn’t stop Norton from getting the hospital and ambulance bills. To prove that he was not even in the country at the time, Norton had to use his passport, boarding pass, and other documents.
Despite all of these issues, Norton has managed to avoid paying for any of the acts perpetrated by the fake Jonathans. However, it was not easy, and Norton has referred to his stolen ID as “the gift that keeps on giving.”
This story is a reminder that identity theft can happen to anyone, even if they take all the necessary precautions. It’s essential to be vigilant and take steps to protect yourself against this type of crime.