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What next for
identity theft?

July 2018

I could smell barbecue on the light breeze. Gulls wheeled and cried against the blue sky, cutting through the distant excited shrieks of children on the beach.


Johnny’s emotionless voice came down to me from the top of the dune ‘Middle-class family group, North North West, 300 metres. Man, woman, one female teenager, one baby. Red windbreak.’ I unzipped the leather pouch, pulled out the gun and booted it up. One, two, three green lights, that would do.


Carefully wriggling into position through the sand, I spotted them almost right away. I brought the gun up as the lasersight cleared, and set the cross-hairs to bear in the centre of the group.


Yellow brackets told me the Face Recognition System had picked up the mother and daughter, the man kept looking in the wrong direction.  I needed more faces to make the results more certain. Suddenly I had all three. I pulled the trigger. A satisfying buzz and a screenshot told me they were all hit - even the baby. The new SNUPE 250 really was the best.


I hunkered down at the bottom of the dune and toggled SEND. I could almost feel the comms wake up and talk to the cloud. Incisive tools and discrete algorithms surged across and interrogated every social media group, corporate website, all five breached government departments, two banks, a credit business, the DVLA and three medical databases. I gave it a full minute to cross-reference all the findings and flipped down the glasses, as the data traced its findings across my vision.


Mr and Mrs James Cartwright, daughter Zoe, baby Albert. 35, Portland Avenue, Bristol, BS5 2QS.  I trawled through the ever-growing mound of data. Births, deaths, affairs, employment, meal preferences, hospital stays, parking and speeding fines, holidays, pets, family photos.. there it was.. purchase history.


I called up to Johnny DK66 FJL.’ He swung his binoculars onto the car park.


‘ Yep, got it. Black Audi 4 X 4’

I started up the printer and typed the killer line, tore off the sheet. We packed up the gun and made our way to the carpark. When I knew nobody was looking I sidled up to the Audi and put the fateful message under the wiper.


‘Cartwrights! TV on the blink? 50” Samsung, 30% discount, just for you, today only at Dean Electronics.


OR (sinister ending) James - You might want to stop Peter Walker finding out about your hotel booking with his wife. £1,000, please to: 33-00-67. a/c 97026933.

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