How to Avoid Cases of Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity
Cases of mistaken identity are incredibly commonplace in such a modern, digital age. But it might not happen in the way you might have thought. In fact, there have been cases of mistaken identity where:
  • A credit company mixes up two people
  • A coroner mixing up an accident survivor with the victim
  • Sportscasters believing they’re getting one player when they’re getting another, less experienced sportsman
  • A university professor mixing up marks or grades with that of another student or putting one student in for an exam by mistake
Where these are all basic ways in which cases of mistaken identity can occur, they do seem highly-unlikely, but that might because it’s never happened to you. However, cases of mistaken identity can happen to anyone, so it’s important that we know how we can protect ourselves against it. With that in mind, here are six ways in which you can avoid a case of mistaken identity.

Lower identity information barriers

This involves providing people with just the right level of information to ensure that there’s absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind who you are. But there’s a fine line between providing distinguishing information and giving away too much about yourself because this could give someone the opportunity to steal your identity. Some of the ways in which you can ensure everyone knows exactly who you are, without exposing too much of your personal information, includes:
  • Listing yourself in a local phone book
  • Carrying a form of identification, such as a passport or drivers’ licence
  • Wearing a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace which details any medical condition you might have that someone with the same name, or similar, will not have
  • Having a balanced presence online that’ll appear high in the search results should somebody search your name
  • Ensuring your social media accounts are up to date, such as to depict a name change after marriage

Stand out, aiming to be as unique as possible

Standing out and being unique might seem like one in the same thing, but this isn’t actually the case. This also needs to be done without exposing too much about yourself. If you have social media accounts that are public or somewhat restricted, then take steps to build a strong personal brand. This will help to ensure people or companies don’t get you mixed up with anyone else.

It could even be something as simple as providing an up to date profile photo as opposed to an ambiguous image that might have people asking themselves “is this who I’m looking for or not?”. If they take a gamble on whether it’s you or not, they could be wrong and so there you have a case of mistaken identity.

Don’t have shared user accounts

This essentially ensures that every account belongs to one individual. If you’re a couple who shares a Facebook account, for example, under one name, then people aren’t going to be able to find the person they’re looking for if their name isn’t on the account.

To be safe, it’s important that everyone has their own account or profile to help distinguish between who is who. Again, accompanied by an up to date photograph or some distinguishing information, there’ll be no doubt that you are who you say you are and those looking for you will know, with certainty, that it’s you they’re after.

Implement audit trails in the workplace

If you’re trying to prevent cases of mistaken identity within the workplace as opposed to in a domestic setting, then you’ll be able to implement audit trails. This way, if you have two or more people in the company with the same name, you’ll be able to see who does what and when. It will also help when it comes to paying salaries and making sure that the right amount is paid to each person. You don’t want to confuse the wage of a senior staff member with the wage of a part-time graduate, for example.

If you own a business, have a clear onboarding and offboarding process

If you carefully follow who is joining the business and who is leaving it, then you’ll be able to keep track of your employees overall. This way, you won’t think that someone is still working for you when they aren’t and vice-a-versa. Keep a detailed account of who is onboarded and offboarded and make sure your HR department is keeping a close eye on it as well.

Hire a private investigator

Where this might sound extreme, it’s a common tactic used, particularly by employers, who are wanting to determine whether someone is who they say they are. They might have two people who have applied for a job, each with the same name, but with little distinguishing information. A private investigator will be able to help in a number of ways, including:


Delta 74 Private Investigations are pleased to be able to provide sterling investigative services throughout Derbyshire and the surrounding areas. No matter the reason, you can rest assured that we’ll carry out our services meticulously and discreetly whilst delivering the results you’re looking for. For more information, get in touch with a member of our expert team today – we’re always happy to help.
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