Last Man Standing are articles intended to help the average guy prepare for some of life’s oddest events. It’s just advice. It’s better than being clueless.

So, you’ve done something terrible or else you’re just a poor victim and the bad guys have framed you -- Either way, the police aren’t on your side. You need to get out of dodge and hide. What in the world can you do to protect yourself? It seems that you need to stop being you. It’s probably time to change your identity.

Avoid Scammers

There are plenty of Internet services out there that say they can change your identify for you, often in as little as one day’s time. Avoid these ‘agencies’ at all costs, because the vast majority of them are scams. The identification documents they’ll send you, if they send you any at all, are usually easily recognizable forgeries. If you want a lasting identity change, stay away from these shady outfits, which are only looking to make a quick buck from your desperation and misery.

The Legal Way

If you’re on the run from the law, this method is definitely NOT for you. But if you’re just some poor schmuck who is sick of his life and his friends, and all you want to do is start over, there are legal ways to accomplish the task. For less than 50 dollars, you can petition the court, and legally change your name. The court will run an ad for about month to see if anyone objects, and if no one does, you’re on the way to becoming a new you. Try not to go too wild with your name change. ‘Space Beam Laser Master’ might attract more attention than you’re looking for.

Once you change your name, you can try for a new social security number as well, although this will be a lot trickier. If you can prove that your Social Security number is being used illegally, or inappropriately (start signing up for all of those offers from Nigerian princes), or that you’re a victim of domestic violence, you can apply for a new number. Identify theft of your old name could actually prove to be a good thing in this peculiar circumstance.

The Creepy Way

Another method for changing your identity (name and social security number) is to take on the persona of a dead infant. Yeah, we know, that’s kind of creepy, but it has worked in the past. Basically, what you have do is find a child who died on or near your own birthday, or at least your birth year, and take over the dead child’s identity. With the deceased's birth certificate in hand, you can apply for a driver’s license, and other important documentation under the false name. Most courthouses have death records (many online) for you to look through. Of course, this is exceedingly illegal. As local and national databases are being updated and integrated with different government agencies, this route is becoming harder and harder for the would-be criminal, but with some research and effort, plus a little luck on your side, you just might be able slip through the cracks in the system.

Break All Ties

If you do manage to change your identity, you’ll have to break all ties with your old life. In order to sell the new you, you’ll need to change your style of dress, your job, old hobbies and all of the things that made you unique and identifiable in the past. Starting over is possible with some work, and it can be a blessing for some, but it does come with a price.

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