Ideas in the Wild: How Dartanyon A. Williams is Using His Life Experience to Spearhead Identity Theft Reform
The first time Dartanyon A. Williams experimented with identity theft, he was fifteen years old, and the identity in question belonged to his father. From gaming credit card companies and retail stores, to fooling car lots and financing it all with a successful drug enterprise, Dartanyon went on to build a million-dollar, forty-member, multilevel crime ring before his twenty-third birthday — then lost it all before finally finding himself in the depths of solitary confinement.
In The Master Identity Thief, Dartanyon examines our national story of white-collar crime enablement, theft, and institutional opportunism, showing just how vulnerable we are. He also invites readers to take a walk in his shoes, experiencing the familial, spiritual, and societal redemption he found. I recently caught up with Dartanyon to learn what inspired him to write the book, his favorite idea he shares with readers, and how that ideas has impacted his life.
What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?
The book itself is a product of redemption. While being subjected to the unconstitutional conditions of solitary confinement at Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite, Louisiana, for three arduous years, I decided to write the book and also made the definitive decision to offer myself as a living testimony in service to others. Considering all of my life experiences, I concluded that writing this book was perhaps the best way to commence this process and leave a legacy and example for my children.
Upon my release from federal prison in 2011, every bank or financial center was posting information on identity theft or payment card fraud. However, the material I would retain and read fell short of the education that’s necessary to really protect one’s identity from fraud. Then, the information was geared around sales pitches for some product or service the institution was either mediating, advocating, or selling, as much of it still is today. Further, on a daily basis, I visited businesses of all types and recognized that the vulnerabilities that I wrote about were still alive and active; and badly in need of authoritative guidance and definitive solutions.
What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?
That’s a tough question, considering that there are 60 legislative proposals that have merit and can be measured against the current body of legislation in the identity theft and cyber security space. To be specific and very clear, the primary cause of any nation should be the safety and security of its posterity and its people. For America, the protection and security of its children translates and transacts into the protection and security of America’s future. That said, to safeguard America’s posterity against the heinous crime of Children Identity Theft, I would introduce Legislative Proposal #10 in the appendix of my book as the initiative with the other 59 legislative proposals to follow.
What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?
Before all things, I’m a father first with a vivid understanding that my children are my life’s biggest accomplishment. Their moral, spiritual, and financial futures all start with both educational initiatives and parental interventions inspired or introduced by me as their father; and protecting their vulnerable identities is one such lesson that each of them has learned and applied in their individual lives.
As I continue to watch Children Identity Theft scale at alarming rates, I’ve listened and learned that the dissemination of consumer education is vital to the proclivities of prevention and protection in the space of financial crimes. Thus, I offer the testimonies and solutions presented in my memoir, The Master Identity Thief, to the world as a type of roadmap that leads to consumer education, in the interest and effort of national security!
For more advice on keeping your identity safe, you can find The Master Identity Thief: Testimony and Solutions of an Expert Witness on Amazon.