ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Evil Shadows

A Terrifying True Story of Identity Theft, Cyber Crimes, A Botched U.S. Customs Investigation and an Innocent American

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

A victim of identity theft is victimized again by a government investigation against him; Hallock tells a true, terrifying tale.

Rick Hallock’s Evil Shadows is the true and frightening story of how one man’s life was affected, and almost destroyed, by identity theft—and a warning that what happened to him could happen to anyone. In a nearly flawless exposé that reads like a thriller, Hallock reveals how bureaucratic ineptitude (and the possible collusion of US Customs investigators) caused the loss of his successful business, terrorized his family, and ultimately bankrupted him. His recommendations on how to protect oneself from identity theft are invaluable in a world riddled with cyber crime.

Hallock meticulously documents how his identity was stolen by child pornographers, leaving him open to being accused of a federal crime and facing possible imprisonment. And although he believed that, as an American citizen, he was presumed innocent until proven guilty, he found the opposite to be true: instead of protecting his constitutional rights, the “evil shadows” who destroyed his reputation and livelihood and drove him to bankruptcy were none other than the federal agents and prosecutors sworn to uphold those rights.

Hallock’s book offers much more than a mere documenting of events—in spite of the amazing amount of detail he has included, it reads more like a psychological thriller. Readers will feel his fear and confusion as his home is invaded by fifteen armed federal officials dressed in black and wearing flak jackets; they will share his frustration as he discovers that he is powerless to protect himself and his family against the evil plans that the identity thief and his own government seem to have for him; and they will share in his anger at the failure of his every attempt to prove his innocence, not because proof is lacking, but because it is ignored.

Going far beyond mere warning, Hallock provides chapters full of information on ways to prevent, detect, and recover from identity theft. The book’s few errors include the lack of the possessive “s” (where “Robard’” should read “Robard’s”); the typo which gives the intended name “Santos” as “Sanens”; and the missing word “with” in “but those of an agency and person intent to do me harm.”

A native of New York State, Rick Hallock served in the military and became a successful entrepreneur in the computer industry as the founder of Ferncliff Associates. Under the Ferncliff banner, he created and published CDMotion and DVDMotion—successful products which, together with his company, were destroyed by the persons and events described in Evil Shadows. Hallock now provides software engineering services and writes.

Hallock’s book is highly recommended for its ability to awaken readers not just to the real dangers of identity theft but also to the destructive powers that federal authorities can unleash against even the innocent.

Kristine Morris