Grosse Pointe, MI - As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, we should all be aware of how scam artists are using clever but dangerous techniques to rip off the naive and the gullible. Take the example of Joan Hoden, a housewife from Grosse Pointe, who alleges that her own husband, Jack Hoden, has spent the last 43 years trying to steal her identity.
Mrs. Hoden's suspicions arose after reading an article about identity theft in a recent Readers Digest magazine. "After reading that article it became apparent that my entire relationship with my husband was just one big phishing scam. That's with a 'ph' not an 'f'. Like when we first met at the bar over on Woodward, he asked me for my name. Then he continued asking me about where I worked and where I went to school. Eventually he managed to get my phone number from me. After we started dating he really wanted to meet my parents. Who wants to hang out with someone else's parents on Thanksgiving? God it's so obvious now, he was just trying to rip me off."
As the wedding date approached his scamming techniques became much more brazen. "One day he outright asked me for my social security number because he needed to include me on his health insurance policy through work. Plus he had me to sign a bunch of 'wedding' documents and go to the local health clinic to give a blood sample. He even had me change my last name to his. And until he was arrested last week, he continued to go through my pockets every single time he did the laundry."
"I hope he never gets out of jail," Mrs. Hoden continued. "He is very adept at this sort of stuff, oh, what did the article call it? Social engineering. Like he would never just call me by my real name. To create a false sense of familiarity he'd insist on calling me nicknames such as 'honey' or 'dear.' And I feel really bad for our children. When they needed help filling out college applications about twenty years ago, he claimed to need their birth dates and social security information. Hopefully they'll be able to rebuild their lives someday."
Sgt. Barry Allen from the Detroit Police Department said, "This guy's greed knew no bounds. He scammed personal information from friends, family, and in his job as a human resources coordinator, he scammed every single employee at his work. If anyone asks for personal information your best bet is to call the police immediately to ensure that no-good scammers like Jack Hoden are taken off the street."
Mrs. Hoden adds, "It may be hard to believe, but there is a bright side to all of this. We're all quite lucky that he never got around to actually stealing any money. It appears I caught him just in time. I truly thank God for Readers Digest."
Jack Hoden is currently incarcerated in the Wayne County jail awaiting arraignment on 602 counts of identity theft. If convicted on all counts he faces a minimum of 20 years in prison. His attorney refused to comment.
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