There’s no doubt that Dartanyon A. Williams has a fascinating story to tell.
From ‘Master Identity Thief’ to Entrepreneur: An Interview With Dartanyon A. Williams
A Louisiana native, Dartanyon began stealing identities when he was just 15 years old.
He became an expert, stealing from credit card companies, various merchants, and car lots while simultaneously running a lucrative drug enterprise.
By the time he was 23, Dartanyon had built a million-dollar crime ring.
Then he was arrested, spent a total of “8” years in prison, and rediscovered himself while serving three years in solitary confinement.
Now, Dartanyon is an author of a two-volume, best-selling autobiography, titled “The Master Identity Thief: Testimony and Solutions of an Expert Witness”.
He is also an entrepreneur who has founded two businesses, The DAW Group, LLC, and DuckPond Technologies, Inc., which are focused on developing innovative strategies, solutions, and technologies to protect Americans from the everyday threats of fraud across the financial sector.
Dartanyon, aka, DAW, has a mission to make the world a safer place by creating better protections against identity theft, which has been the fastest-growing crime in the US for more than 20 years.
We sent him five questions about his life and work.
Learn more about DAW’s incredible story below.
The Desire to Serve
Q: When was the moment you realized you wanted to change your life and become a protector of America’s consumers? What brought you there?
Dartanyon A. Williams: I got there by way of incarceration, which commenced in 2003. I ended up in solitary confinement in Tangipahoa Jail in Amite City, Louisiana during my second term in the Feds.
I was in solitary confinement for three years. That’s when I became an Autodidactic. I structured my studious habits around “10” disciplines.
Erudition became my self-educated process for three long, arduous years in solitary confinement. Those were the transformative years of my life when I gained a real appreciation for fatherhood.
I discovered my identity through the deep reflection of introspection.
I began to understand the emotional and psychological impact that my absence was having on my children and thereby discovered the resolve to change my behavior by reengineering my character.
My children changed my life. Simultaneously, I developed the conviction to use my private and painful knowledge acquisitions for the public good.
I began to map and identify ways that I could contribute to society. How could I fit into society? In what ways could I help succeeding generations down a more righteous path?
During incarceration, I finally came into my own identity and found my calling in life.
Read My Book, It’s Worth It
Q: What would you like to say to readers who are thinking about buying your book? Why should they be interested?
Dartanyon A. Williams: I think people should be interested in my book because it meets the prospective reader at eye level.
It touches every facet of life, whether you’re poor or rich, teacher or student, generalist, or specialist.
If you don’t get the book for no other reason, just get it to develop an appreciation for how you are identified and targeted as a potential victim of identity theft and how you can take appropriate measures to protect yourself.
Identity Theft has been the fastest-growing crime in America for the last 22 years. In 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act.
In 2004, it was amended at the request of the FBI because it continued to grow at an alarming rate. Identity theft even a role in the 9/11 attacks.
If we had biometric identification verification technology then, they [the hijackers] would never have been able to advance the most horrendous crime perpetrated on US soil to date.
Identity theft contributed to these attacks on our nation.
To Eradicate Fraud
Q: In 2019, you founded the company DuckPond Technologies Inc., which aims to combat fraud through disruptive technologies. What are your goals with this company?
Dartanyon A. Williams: DuckPond now has “10” pending patents, “9” of which are in the space of fraud prevention, detection, detainment, and determent with a focus on identity theft, payment card fraud, and check fraud, to name a few areas of technological focus.
I initially filed for these patents in March 2019. With DuckPond, I hope to mitigate, if not altogether cure, some of the fraudulent challenges America faces in terms of consumer protections.
Raise Awareness and Engage in Combat Identity Theft
Q: What are some of the ways you are combating identity theft? How can we improve protections against it?
Dartanyon A. Williams: I would like to engage law enforcement and legislators and give them perspective on why these crimes exist and how to stop them at a high level.
With DuckPond Technologies, I hope to equip the general public, but more importantly, those who are in a position to enact real change in our society.
My book was the first way of fighting identity theft. I also raise awareness about this through my different platforms, as a public speaker, and on the various panels I sit on.
These are all measures that I’m engaged in to help people prevent identity theft.
The motto is Prevention, Detection, Detainment, Deterrent. The best defense against identity theft is consumer education.
Make the public aware. It’s about informing people how to protect themselves, how you can protect your own identity.
For example, I have a pending patent called MyLifeGard. It’s a tutorial, an educational app that makes the consumer aware of the dangers of identity theft and instructs them how to adopt and implement safety measures.
Once you’re educated and have a working knowledge of how this works, you can begin to defend yourself.
But most people don’t know what measures to take.
You can protect 80 percent of your identity if you just contact one of the major credit bureaus, like Equifax, Experion, or Transunion, and ask them to put a credit freeze or fraud alert in your consumer credit profile.
Then any creditor or inquirer would have to verify your identity before allowing access to your existing account or issuing new credit.
If American capitalism eradicated the instant credit process, identity theft would effectively be crippled.
Q: What do you see as the biggest problems with how we currently deal with identity theft? Do you have suggestions for how political leaders and law enforcement can change their strategies to reduce this crime?
Instant Credit Market
Dartanyon A. Williams: First I would say they should adopt all 60 legislative proposals in the appendices of my book.
We need to reconsider the instant credit market, for example. The instant credit market speaks to instant gratification.
It’s used in a way that exploits the general population by way of identity theft and other instant financial atrocities.
We must make that connection. We need to make the instant credit market more verifiable.
That’s the way I made a million dollars when I was 19 years old. It was all by way of the instant credit market. I was able to exploit that system in a way it wasn’t prepared for.
The same nuances exist today. It’s all still possible.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
Q: You ran for a Louisiana Congressional seat in 2020. Can we expect to see more political engagement from you in the future? If elected to a political position, what would you like to accomplish?
Dartanyon A. Williams: I am still interested in public service. You can most definitely expect to see more political action and initiative from me in the future.
My goals are diversity, inclusion, and equity by way of disrupting the status quo. We must design and develop our politics for the future. The only way to do that is to disrupt the status quo and introduce policies that are designed to improve the quality of life for all.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Gratitude Is External. It’s a Verbal Expression.
Dartanyon A. Williams: I have identified two attributes that any person must embrace to be impactful in life. One is humility and the other is gratefulness.
Humility is the attribute that positions us to serve our neighbors, sisters, brothers, and enemies.
Gratefulness is the attribute that appreciates and perpetuates being afforded the opportunity to serve to begin with.
These are the attributes that can make us more productive and progressive. Otherwise, you’re distracted by your self-serving ego. Here’s my insightful conclusion: Gratefulness is different from gratitude.
Gratitude essentially emanates from the context of verbal expressions. We express it daily without thought.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. But it’s superficial. Gratitude is external. It’s a verbal expression.
Gratefulness is internal. It’s a disposition. And appreciation is the manifestation of both gratefulness and humility. I found both, and I’m a better person for it.
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