The first time my identity was stolen was over a decade ago and it was a huge shock. Somebody bought two really nice laptops and drained my bank account. Since then, my credit card has had a fraudulent charge on it every few years. In fact, my latest ‘bout was just a few months ago. I figure that’s just the way of today’s world, and I think the credit card companies figure that, too. It’s never a problem to get it taken care of quickly. So I was instantly attracted to Axton Betz-Hamilton’s “The Less People Know About Us” because it is about her decades long struggle with identity theft. I was curious to learn how different her experience was than my own… after all, mine has been nothing to write a book about. However, after reading her biography/true crime account of dealing

with identity theft from the ripe age of 11, I began to wonder if I should even consider the scant experiences I’ve had as actual identity theft. Aside from my initial brush with hackers, where I thought every penny to my name was gone forever (which it wasn’t), identity theft has never been more than a mere nuisance to me. Not so for Axton. It consumed her life. It became her life’s obsession, figuring out who ruined her family’s peace of mind and credit score.  

The true meaning of ‘identity theft’ happened to Axton over and over again. It wasn’t a suspicious charge to her credit card every now and then; it was accounts being opened in her name and then maxed out and left unpaid. It was paranoia and anxiety attacks. Trust and control issues. Even though her mom tried to tell her many times that the actions were not personal, Axton felt it was because it wasn’t some random hacker every few years. It was one relentless thief, over the course of decades, decimating Axton’s ability to celebrate the milestones of becoming an independent adult, like buying a car or renting an apartment.

“The Less People Know About Us” reads like a novel and keeps you turning the page over and over again.  You can’t help but feel the pain and suffering along with the Betz family. And at the same time, be really glad it’s not you.

If you’re doing Well Read Books’ Reading Challenge, this titlecould mark off one of the following categories: Coming of Age, Nonfiction, or Somebody dies.