Case of mistaken identity

A 'case of mistaken identity' happens when one person incorrectly identifies another person



DefinitionYour turn

A “case of mistaken identity” involves three people. First, the person who makes the mistake (person 1). Second, the true person that he is looking for (person 2). And third, the person he mistakenly identifies (person 3.)

In a case of mistaken identity, Person 1 thinks Person 2 is who he is looking for; however, he was really looking for Person 3.

Imagine a store clerk sees a teenager in a brown coat and short black hair steal a phone charger. The security guards search the mall and find someone who meets that description. They report him to the police. However, the person they found is not the true thief: security footage reveals he wasn’t in the store at all.

This is a case of mistaken identity: The security guards (person 1) mistakenly believed the man (person 2) stole the phone charger. But really, the teenager who stole it (person 3) has escaped.

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