Dozens of Children Victims in Check Cashing Scheme - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Dozens of Children Victims in Check Cashing Scheme

Updated:

Identity theft has no age limit.
     
Some families are learning that the hard way after their kids unknowingly became victims.

Postal inspectors say suspects in one scheme stole the identities of children and opened accounts in their names.

"They knew they had no credit. So, that way they could use the kids' information to go out and get credit and make whatever purchases they wanted," said Cecil Frink, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Inspectors say the ring leader recruited people who were down on their luck.
 
He would make fake IDs  for his recruits that used their photos and the names and addresses of the kids whose identities were stolen.

"They were able to open accounts and write checks, then went around to different merchants and wrote checks knowing they had no money in the bank," said Frink.

The suspects wrote hundreds of bad checks, totaling more than $500,000.
 
"Handlers would take them out and tell them what to buy and they might get 25 percent," said Frink.

They bought tools and major appliances they could sell on the street.
 
Once authorities began tracking the case, surveillance video from various stores helped them make arrests.
 
"We can actually see the individuals writing the counterfeit or bad checks," said Frink.

Inspectors say your children are as vulnerable to identify theft as you are.
 
"Protect your children's social security numbers, place of birth and information like that. "

In all, there were more than 100 victims in this case.

The website annualcreditreport.com says credit reporting agencies do not keep credit files on minors, but if you think your child's information has been compromised, you can report it to credit reporting agencies and law enforcement.

Click here for all the information you need to know about getting a credit report.

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