More of this amazing investigation by the Columbus Dispatch. This part covers ID thieves targeting your kids. YES, YOUR KIDS.
By the time Kimberly Dean was in eighth grade, she had a mortgage, dozens of credit cards and enough debt to fill six pages on a credit report.
The Columbus girl’s financial life was in ruins — but she didn’t know it.
Not until she was a college freshman and denied a JCPenney credit card would Dean learn that someone had stolen her identity when she was 14. That she supposedly owed debts of $150,000. And that this would haunt her for decades.
A terrified Dean could find no one to fix the problem, including the big three credit-reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
She was referred to a local judge who signed and stamped an affidavit saying the debts didn’t belong to the teenager. He warned her that she should always carry the piece of paper so that no one would identify her as a deadbeat or criminal.
“It was like living in a foreign country, always having to prove who I was,” said Dean, now 39. “ This started when I was a kid, and it still haunts me today. It’s like the junk drawer in the kitchen or the dirty rug in the garage that no one ever cleans up.”
Read more at the Dispatch: