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The Less People Know About Us
The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity | Axton Betz-Hamilton
In a powerful memoir, identity theft expert Axton Betz-Hamilton tells the shocking and unsettling story of her family, betrayal, and deceit. Axton Betz-Hamilton grew up in small-town Indiana in the early '90s. When she was 11 years old, her parents both had their identities stolen. Their credit ratings were ruined, and they were constantly fighting over money. This was before the age of the Internet, when identity theft became more commonplace, so authorities and banks were clueless and reluctant to help Axton's parents. Axton's family switched PO Boxes, changed all of their personal information, and moved to different addresses, but the identity thief followed them wherever they went. Convinced that the thief had to be someone they knew, Axton and her parents completely cut off the outside world, isolating themselves from friends and family. Axton learned not to let anyone into the house without explicit permission, and once went as far as chasing a plumber off their property with a knife. She had panic attacks throughout her formative years and often became physically sick with anxiety and quarantined behind the closed curtains in her childhood home. She began starving herself at a young age in an effort to blend in--her clothes, hair, makeup, and weight could be nothing short of perfect or she would be scolded by her mother, who had become paranoid and consumed by how others perceived the family. Years later, her parents marriage still shaken from the theft, Axton discovered that she, too, had fallen prey to the identity thief, but by the time she realized, she was already thousands of dollars in debt and her credit was ruined. THE LESS PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT US is Axton's attempt to untangle an intricate web of lies, and to understand why and how a loved one could have inflicted such pain. Axton will present a candid, shocking, and redemptive story and reveal her courageous effort to grapple with someone close that broke the unwritten rules of love, protection, and family.
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review
Magpiegem
Mehso-so

36/22I‘ll be honest, I just didn‘t enjoy the way this was written. And that is a very personal preference so don‘t let my review put you off if you are interested in the story. I heard about this on one on a podcast and it sounded like my cup of tea so I immediately used one of my precious audible credits on it. But it just didn‘t keep me captivated and the ending, once the truth was realised, which was the most interesting part felt rushed.

17 likes1 comment
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bookwrm526
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Pickpick

I had already heard a lot of this story on two different podcasts where I heard the author interviewed, but it was still interesting. Knowing the background beforehand made it a little hard to believe they didn‘t figure it out earlier sometimes, but I think in some ways it was a case of just not wanting to see the truth?

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WeirdAtHeart
This post contains spoilers
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I first learned about this book through the Criminal podcast, they had an episode that went into this womans story and when the episode was over I wanted more and knew I would have to read the book she wrote.

This book is about so much more than identity theft. It's about secrets, and betrayal, also the blinders we have where our loved ones are concerned. I was sad for Axton, her mother's actions have impacted so much of her life.

MallenNC I learned about this from that Criminal episode too. I still think about it and can‘t believe it. 2y
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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

This story is much less about identity theft and much more about deceit, lies, addiction, mental illness and profound denial. I just had trouble understanding how seemingly bright people could have not seen the obvious blaring truth. It left me more frustrated than anything else. I did feel for the daughter, who obviously suffered from such a traumatic childhood. I understand how you were drawn in @TorieStorieS thanks for sharing it with me💜

Cinfhen @Reviewsbylola a lot of this story takes part in Indian Lake is that where @Mdargusch has her lake house???? 2y
Reviewsbylola No, we‘re on Lake Erie. I did stack this at some point tho! 2y
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bunny Oh, I recently listened to the Criminal episodes with the author and they were really fascinating. I'll have to check this out! 2y
TorieStorieS I‘m glad you enjoyed this- and yes!! I know what you mean about being frustrated... and I think the denial was relatively easy since it seems they still haven‘t discovered where all that money went... 2y
93 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Cinfhen
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I‘m a little skeptical how Axton and her dad can be so clueless because I‘m pretty sure the “thief” is living amongst them. Still very captivating listen. Thanks @TorieStorieS and this works for #ReadingUSA2020 #Indiana

Chelsea.Poole I agree, it felt like they should have caught to what's going on around them, but I guess that's one reason this story is so intriguing. So much trust and love...it can make a person blind to the realities going on around them. 2y
Cinfhen Absolutely @Chelsea.Poole TOTAL DENIAL 2y
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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

What a captivating listen!! This is my #MemoirAboutAParentAndChild choice for #Booked2020- and I literally couldn‘t stop listening to it! Axton‘s story is horrifying and so unfathomable! Identity theft shaped her entire life... and as she learns more and more, the betrayal is even worse. I‘m so glad she shared this and that I saw the Litsy love to prompt me to get my hands on a copy! #AudioColoring

Cinfhen I‘ll have to look for this one ☝🏾 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful!!! 3y
TorieStorieS @Cinfhen I loved the audio version! It came out at the end of last year! If you use Audible, I would be happy to share the book with you! 3y
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Cinfhen That‘s so sweet @TorieStorieS I do use Audible but I think that sharing option is for friends who aren‘t subscribers / I‘m not sure 🤷🏼‍♀️I think it‘s a way to get people to try their service 3y
TorieStorieS @Cinfhen I think you can send one free book to anyone! My mom has an account and we were able to send each other one free book! What‘s your email address? 3y
Cinfhen Thank you 🙏🏼 It worked!!!! 3y
TorieStorieS @Cinfhen Yay!!! Enjoy!!! 🥳 3y
52 likes8 comments
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Mitch
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Just finished the tagged book and then listened to the author on a backlist episode of Criminal (with Phoebe Judge)...... there‘s spoilers in the podcast so be warned!

Kimberlone This was such a great episode of Criminal! 3y
Mitch @Kimberlone 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 3y
44 likes2 comments
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Mitch
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Pickpick

I'd not heard anything about this story before diving in - so the revelations were shocking. Betz-Hamilton charts the emotional, financial & psychological trauma of being engulfed in an elaborate identify theft that begun when she was 11. I read this in a day, so driven was the story line, it was definitely a 'just one more chapter' book. The closing chapters were the weakest and the only part where I was craving for her to go deeper than she did.

squirrelbrain Sounds really fascinating! 3y
Mitch @squirrelbrain I think you‘d like it! 3y
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Mitch
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I was only going to read a few chapters this afternoon - but this is compulsive storytelling - really can‘t put it down !

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Mitch
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Stripping life back to just essentials (I might add cake to the list in order for it to be complete!) 🤣

Crazeedi Perfect sentiment on your bookmark, I am in total agreement!🥰 3y
Crazeedi And yes, I'd add angel food cake!! 3y
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AmyG I replace garden with chocolate. 🤣 3y
Mitch @AmyG 🤣🤣🤣 3y
kspenmoll Love your bookmark. Add coffee for me! 3y
86 likes6 comments
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Mitch
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Yeah - I‘m so thankful for the mail service. ❤️👏🏻❤️

Now - where to start???

#bookmail

Kathrin Looks interesting! 3y
Mitch @kspenmoll I listened to a review on a podcast and it sounded so interesting. Have you read it? 3y
kspenmoll @Mitch No have not read it but it sounds compelling. 3y
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Mitch
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The Edgars have been announced - great place to discover some new reads - I‘m super intrigued by the tagged book ( I might just have ordered it from my local bookstore for home delivery!) 🤣🥳🤣

http://www.theedgars.com/nominees.html?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_...

Aims42 I really enjoyed “The Ghosts of Eden Park”!! 3y
MallenNC The Less People Know About Us is very good. I enjoyed it last year. She was also on a couple of episodes of the podcast Criminal, but people shouldn‘t listen to those until after the book to avoid spoilers. (edited) 3y
Mitch @MallenNC good to know - thank you! I actually had tickets for the live recording of that podcast this month - hopefully postponed not cancelled 🤞🏼 3y
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Mitch @Aims42 I have that on my shelf to read - glad it‘s good 👍🏼 3y
MallenNC @Mitch Oh I hope it is rescheduled! Criminal is produced at my local NPR station so I went to their first live event a year or so ago. It was an interesting night! (edited) 3y
Mitch @MallenNC love an ‘interesting‘ event! 🤣 3y
MallenNC @Mitch It was interesting in a good way! I love hearing Phoebe Judge talk anyway. 3y
Mitch @MallenNC 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 3y
65 likes8 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

A nonviolent #truecrime first person account of identity theft. I was fascinated by Axton's story. The pizza wasn't bad either!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa That looks delicious! 3y
BittersweetBooks Need both of these things in my life haha 3y
LoverOfLearning I almost bought this book 2 weeks ago! 3y
Chelsea.Poole @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BittersweetBooks it was goooood! 🍍 on 🍕 is my thing 😊 3y
Chelsea.Poole @LoverOfLearning I really liked it! The #audiobook is great! 3y
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nitalibrarian
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Pickpick

Finished this #audiobook on our afternoon walk. I found it a very fascinating story. This is true crime involving identity theft. It wrecks her childhood and teen years and follows her into adulthood. Definitely recommend both as a true crime story and a memoir.

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UnabridgedPod
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Pickpick

Oh my goodness, this book is WILD. Axton Betz-Hamilton's The Less People Know about Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity is her memoir examining the torment of identity theft. Her family became victims of this phenomenon when Betz is 11, and as a result, they live a life isolated, rife with paranoia and despair. Betz's mother, a financial whiz, does her best to regain their name and reputation, ⬇️

UnabridgedPod as well as their financial security, but the identity theft plagues Axton through her adulthood, a fate that becomes clear when she gets her first credit report in college. Betz becomes an expert in identity theft, determined both to uncover the truth about her family's thief AND to help other victims. ⬇️ 3y
UnabridgedPod I don't want to say too much because the journey of this novel travels quite a winding path. Betz-Hamilton does an excellent job detailing the relationship between her parents and herself. I cannot WAIT to discuss this in my real-life book club.

Has anyone else read The Less People Know about Us? What other memoirs would you recommend?
3y
LoverOfLearning The cover looks so intriguing. 3y
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UnabridgedPod @LoverOfLearning It‘s definitely a fascinating read!! 3y
she.hearts.horror I listened to an interview with the author on one of my favorite podcasts, Criminal, and I look forward to reading this. 3y
UnabridgedPod @she.epeolatry I‘ll have to check that out—I‘d love to hear her! 3y
29 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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nitalibrarian
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A walk before running a couple errands and then getting ready for work. I'm a little past halfway in this book. It's obvious who the identity thief was, so really fascinating how blind the author was to it. #audiowalking

Beatlefan129 Looks like you could use a sled 🛷 3y
36 likes1 comment
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nitalibrarian
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Starting this one on our evening walk. It's 5:30 and still light! #audiowalking

Tamra I noticed that I could still see the last bit of light at 6! Yay!! 3y
33 likes1 comment
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nitalibrarian
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I used my newest Audible credit to buy this audiobook. This author spoke at my library a couple weeks ago. I was working, so couldn't go, but from what I heard, her story is fascinating. She mentioned at her talk that Hulu optioned her book, so we might see it on the screen.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

This was an unsettling book. I already knew the basic storyline from hearing Axton Betz-Hamilton on the Criminal podcast (the episode is called “The Money Tree” if you‘re interested), but wow. There was so much more going on with her family than the podcast went into. Her mom was a messed up person, there‘s just no way around that. I admire Axton for turning her family‘s misfortune into a successful career. Definitely recommended.

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KimM
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Pickpick

This is a truly disturbing story about identity theft. More so, it is a story about mental illness. I read it in one sitting. It was a well-written, fast read that kept you engaged. I would have liked to know more about the pathology behind what motivates a person to do this to another person. I recommend it to true crime readers.

ARC provided by #NetGalley

25 likes2 stack adds
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overtheedge
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Pickpick

A story of stolen identities, the unrelenting love of a daughter, and a family broken by betrayal. It's hard not to relate to the feelings of the daughter, Axton, before and after the death of her mother. Enjoyed this!
4.0 /5.0
#NFNov @rsteve388 @Clwojick #TIL

veritysalter Have you listened to the Criminal Podcast? They do a episodes on this case. (edited) 3y
overtheedge @veritysalter No, I havent, but it sounds like something I'd like. I'll look for it. Thanks .🌟 3y
veritysalter It‘s episode 51 and a follow up episode 125. I remember being so shocked when I discovered the truth. An amazing story. 3y
Clwojick 9 pt 3y
49 likes4 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

This book was fascinating. The author and her family were the victims of identity theft during her childhood and she made it the focus of her life as a researcher and academic. She conveys the pain that this crime causes as well as its impact on a person‘s financial life. I knew going in who the perpetrator was bc the author was featured on the Criminal podcast. If you don‘t know, read it without finding out! #NFNov

rsteve388 6 pts 3y
28 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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MallenNC
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I was just going to read a few pages of this but now I have to finish it! I know the secret in the book bc it was the subject of an episode of the Criminal podcast, but it is still a compelling read. #NFNov

Christine I‘ve been wondering about this one bc of Criminal! 3y
MallenNC @Christine It is really good so far. There would be a lot of suspense if I hadn‘t heard Criminal 3y
rsteve388 1 pt 3y
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rmaclean4
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Pickpick

Compulsively readable. I devoured this in two days. Short chapters and lots of cliff hangers. Worth a try.

21 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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rmaclean4
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#nonfictionnovember just started this one in the predawn hours.

rsteve388 This is awesome! Have you signed up? I don't see you in my spreadsheet. There is a form to fill out here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13Kfz8Y98xPDZGFtVd3QOeGk6ZiBqK1whS--IUtnAXXQ/edit?usp=drivesdk 3y
rmaclean4 I have not ...thanks for the link! 3y
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heidisreads
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I got my paws on an #ARC of this true crime #memoir coming out October 15 and you should definitely put it on your list! #nonfiction #stolenidentity
Thanks to the publisher and #netgalley!

ambam1987 Looks interesting!!! 3y
19 likes1 stack add1 comment