How much do you know about your loved ones?
How well do you really know your loved ones? You’re probably not listening in on every phone call, reading every bit of mail, or scouring their cell phones, so there could be a lot going on that you’d never expect. It’s not uncommon for people to hide things from others who are close to them, and things can go so much farther than you’d ever think possible.
These people found out that they really had no idea who they were dealing with even after marriage, kids, and more.
Casing the Country
My family hosted a number of exchange students while we were growing up. We hosted about seven high school students over the course of my childhood; each stayed for a year in our house, attended high school in our town, etc. One girl, Irinia, from Russia came to us no differently than any of the other students had – through the AFS program.
To be an student through AFS meant you had to fill out an application, be 17-18 yrs old, be attending high school in your home country, whatever. So Irinia arrives as our exchange student. She goes to high school in our small home town on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But at Christmas time she says she has to go home to Russia because her mother was extremely sick. Going home during the exchange year is really unusual, really rare.
So she’s going to Russia for the Christmas break, she’ll be back in January. Except she never comes back. AFS can’t find her, we don’t know where she is, if she made it to Russia, if she’s hurt, nothing. And we’re terrified because we’re her host family during this year and we always took the students in like family. Anyways she’s gone.
Maybe three months later my mom is driving through our tiny town and she see Irinia, with what looks like her mom, and some other kids. Turns out Irinia has graduated high school in Russia already, was like 25 with children, and had posed as an exchange student so she could ‘case’ the place before bringing the rest of her family. (gulabjamunyum)
The Long Con Man
So went I first left home in my late teens I shared a big house with a close friend, his brother, and some other randoms. Think frat house except no college/university. Splitting the expenses worked out pretty well. So one of the guys worked at a port in customs or something. He had a uniform and ID. Left for work at the same time every morning and hung out with us after work. He was always down for attending social events with us and most of us liked him.
Fast forward about a year, and he starts telling us about how he can get us discounted TVs and other merchandise from the port. Unclaimed/seized property that apparently no one sweats about if just a few items go astray. Everyone gave it a pass as it seemed sketchy.
Then one day we come home to one of our housemates in shock and bawling like a baby. Turns out not only did he give the guy his life savings, he also gave him money borrowed from his dad. The customs guy had said he could get him a new car cheap! The long long con.
Turns out the guy doesn’t work at the port, the name he gave us doesn’t exist, and we have no idea how he spent his days or came up with his share of the rent/bills. Still creeps me out a little knowing I lived with a stranger for so long. (Rick2wise)
On the Run
A counselor at my college in Michigan faked his identity for over 40 years. He was a civil rights organizer in San Francisco in the 1960s and ended up in a shoot out with police.
None of the police were injured, but he was shot in the foot apparently. He was supposed to appear in court later but he took off, and in the 40+ years following the shooting, he earned his masters degree with a whole new identity, ultimately working as a guidance counselor at a community college in Michigan.
His true identity was exposed around 2010 and he went on trial for the shooting in California. He was sentenced to a year in jail and about $8000 in fines.
He was a nice guy, you’d never expect anybody who’s seemingly normal actually being an old school fugitive on the run. (TazzzTM)