Jackie here, with AllClear ID. Identity thieves can wreak havoc on your life and your finances, but rarely does id theft get in the way of getting a marriage license. We found an interesting story in the New York Post that shows that id theft can take on many faces and in some cases even result in a phony marriage or two.

Rosa Vargas, a 37 year old New Yorker, lost her birth certificate in her twenties. This was the start of her identity theft problems, although she wouldn’t realize it for many years to come. Ms. Vargas first noticed her id theft a few weeks before her wedding in 2004. She went to apply for a marriage license and had her application rejected. Records indicated that Ms. Vargas was already married– twice actually. Both of the marriages occurred several years prior in 1996. One was to a man from Ecuador and the other to a man from Mexico.

Rather than call off or postpone the wedding she decided to marry in a different jurisdiction at the advice of her priest and lawyer. She married her fiancé as planned.

A few years later in 2009 she was served with divorce papers, not by her husband, but by the man from Ecuador. She refused to sign and hired a lawyer. The man later arrived at her mother-in-law’s house where he was informed that he had tracked down the wrong woman.

After this incident Ms. Vargas decided to clear her name and resolve the fraudulent marriages with the courts. Both marriages were nullified.

A third fraudulent marriage in Ms. Vargas’ name has been discovered- and at the time of the Post story- was still being resolved.

This story really illustrates the complexity of identity theft; no two cases are the same. Read more about Ms. Vargas’ story here.