Woman fakes her own death to escape student loans

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Student Loan Debt Inspires Woman to Fake Her Own Death

There is currently a student loan crisis in the United States, and some are scrambling to figure out how to pay off what they owe. One woman took an extreme approach: she faked her own death.

Elizabeth Greenwood was in the hole over $100,000 and was complaining to a friend over dinner about her debt when the pair dreamt up the stunt.

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That very night, Greenwood took to Google to search if it was actually possible to fake her own death. This turned into a years-long project.

"It became very clear to me that I had stumbled into a bizarre underworld made up of people with forbidden knowledge and those seeking it," she told the New York Post. "And while my intention to fake my death might not have been as earnest ... I had definitely become a seeker as well."

The 33-year-old adjunct professor at Columbia University delved into an entire underground world of people faking their own deaths.

She obtained a fake death certificate on the Philippine black market, saying she died in a car crash in 2013. She joked, "I'm dead on paper, but still kicking in Brooklyn."

REALTED: See photos of Greenwood and her new book

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Woman fakes death to escape student loans

Elizabeth Greenwood was in the hole over $100,000 and complaining to a friend over dinner when the friend suggested she fake her own death.

Credit: PIX 11 

That very night, Greenwood took to Google to search if she can actually fake her own death. This turned into a years-long project.

Credit: PIX 11

 "It became very clear to me that I had stumbled into a bizarre underworld made up of people with forbidden knowledge and those seeking it," she said.

Credit: PIX 11

"And while my intention to fake my death might not have been as earnest … I had definitely become a seeker as well."

Credit: PIX 11

Greenwood wrote a book about her experiences and others entitled Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud did not only examine her fake death but others.

Credit: PIX 11

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Greenwood wrote a book entitled Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, where she examined not only her fake death but others' fake deaths as well.

The ultimate lesson Greenwood learned with this experiment is that faking your own death is not effective. She spoke to PIX 11 about the book and faking her own death.

Greenwood reveals she was not arrested because she never actually filed her death certificate. According to her, her mom would "actually kill her" if she went through with it.

She also let her interviewers know that faking her own death did not relieve her of her student debt troubles -- and that due to interest, she might even have more debt now.

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