Instagram has grown to become one of the most popular social media platforms today. Turns out people love sharing photos of anything and everything even remotely connected to their lives, especially food. Browse through Instagram randomly and you will see virtually every other user sharing a picture of what he/she cooked or had for lunch or what they are craving.

In a freak incident, sharing pictures of a meal actually proved to be the undoing of an identity thief. The thief in question, one Nathaniel Troy Maye, met up with an undercover witness. The location of the meeting was Morton’s Steakhouse. Maye had been under investigation by the IRS for attempting to sell 70,000 stolen identities online. But the IRS had no conclusive evidence of his real identity.

Instagram Catches Identity Thief

At Morton’s Steakhouse, a witness managed to obtain a flash drive with 50 stolen identities from Maye and his accomplice. At the meeting Maye snapped a picture of his steak with mac & cheese. Later posting it on his Instagram page. The picture not only had his name but the name of the place as well.

Special agent Louis Babino from the IRS was able to find information linking the stolen identities on the flash drive to one ‘Troy Maye’. Agent Babino then used Instagram to find out who Maye was. At that point the witness was able to positively identify Maye as the identity theif they had met with. Nathaniel Troy Maye, along with his partner in crime were then apprehended at Maye’s apartment. The IRS also retrieved some 55,000 stolen identities from Mr. Maye’s residence.

Last Friday Both defendants pled guilty to the charges levied on them and could be sentenced up to 12 years in prison plus significant fees. Who said that social media was useless? Apparently, Instagram is not!


[Image via Mortons]