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Aug 23, 2013
Jeri Marks was surprised when she received a letter from the IRS claiming her 12-year-old son’s taxes had been reported. Her son, Gabriel, had done a small modeling job requiring Jeri to file his taxes. Jeri found it strange the IRS would claim that her son had already filed his taxes, but she decided that since he was a minor, it was likely a small error on the IRS’s part.
The next year, Jeri received the same letter and decided to investigate. She learned that Gabriel, at age 12, was a victim of identity theft.
Thousands of dollars in collections, multiple credit accounts, excessive inquiries, and addresses for multiple residences crowded Gabriel's credit report. Gabriel now had a trashed credit history that would haunt him for years to come.
At age 24, Gabriel continues to struggle with the breach of his identity. He has tried to buy a car since he was 19, but no one will approve him for a loan. And applying for a home mortgage in the future will be nothing more than a nightmare.
Gabriel still receives threats from the IRS for back taxes; he receives bills for penalties and interest he’s never accrued, letters claiming he owes thousands of dollars to people he’s never met, multiple cell phone bills monthly; once, Gabriel had his electricity cut off because the electric company reported him as having two extra overdue accounts and wouldn’t return his power until it was paid in full.
How do I prevent my identity from being stolen?
In 2012, over 12.6 million people reported their identities stolen, and that number rises every year. However, with a little knowledge in prevention, you can easily keep your identity safe.
The FDIC provides 6 basic strategies for identity theft prevention.
For more information on identity theft please visit the following websites.
I work for Net Nanny and all my opinions are my own.