Child Safety Scam Alert in Central Texas | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

TEMPLE, Texas — Parents are on edge after learning that child safety kit scams, which can be used to steal children’s identities, are hitting Central Texas. 

This all came about during the Temple Christmas Parade. Sasha Solorio goes every year, but this year she was met with something concerning.

Solorio says a man approached her family claiming to be with the Temple Police Department.

“We didn’t think anything of it because the Temple Police Department, they have people patrolling in that area,” Solorio said.

The man allegedly had a stack of cards and told them he already had hundreds of people who filled out the information to get a free child safety kit.

The card asked for things such as a name, phone number and address. Solorio gave out her phone number along with her sister.

“It’s so easy when somebody’s talking to you and telling you everything you want to hear,” Solorio said. “It’s real easy to just slip up. At one point you’re thinking, you’re fixing to receive a safety kit for your child, and that’s the number one thing you want. You want to keep your kids safe. That’s why the initial thought was I was doing something for my kids.”

Weeks later, the man called and asked even more deep and personal questions.

“That’s when the alarm started going off,” Solorio said.

It turns out the man wasn’t who he said he was.

Temple Police confirmed the following to 6 News:

We can confirm that the City of Temple nor the Temple Police Department hired the individual involved in this incident. Any Temple PD employee will either be in uniform or have proper credentials to identify them as a PD employee. If someone cannot provide these necessary credentials, Temple PD advises against answering any questions or providing any identifying information.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is far too familiar with scams like this.

“We see this too many times where people will trust an authority or a figure that’s posing as an authority figure such as someone, the clergy, someone local law enforcement, even elected officials, even the Better Business Bureau itself,” Jason Meza with the BBB said. “They’re posing as people in legit authoritative positions to collect information.”

Meza says children are at a higher risk, being 35 times more likely to have their identities compromised.

“They’re more vulnerable for one, but also their identities,” Meza added. “Starting with a clean slate or a blank slate for scammers to create profiles, user name, create legitimate accounts, even employment, things like that using their good name and their good report they haven’t even started.”

That’s why it’s crucial to take all the preventative measures you can.

“What we can do is double check that we’re checking their credit reports, issuing freezes on their behalf until they’re of age to unlock the credit reports themselves and just doing our best we can as parents and guardians to make sure that we’re protecting their identity as well,” Meza said.

There are trustworthy services through the Temple Police Department.

The Temple PD Kiddo Card Program is a service that provides child identification cards that parents can keep on them. In the event the child is separated from their family, the parent or guardian can give the card to an officer who will then take a picture of it and send it out to all officers working that day. These specific events will be advertised through Temple PD and the City of Temple social media pages and websites.

If you were at the parade and received a phone call from the man, it is best to fill out a police report.

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