Someone falls victim to identity theft every three seconds. It’s one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
And what’s even more shocking is the number of people discovering a family member is the criminal. A national credit information firm says 1/3 of victims had their information stolen by someone in the family.
A man from Valley City called our Whistleblower Hotline saying he thinks someone is stealing his son’s identity.
In October Cody Williams got a credit card offer in his mailbox addressed to his son, Brayden. “It took me a minute to actually figure out how one could go about doing this.” He says.
Cody had twins back in 2009, a daughter Hayden, and a son, Brayden. Brayden died at four months old. “I can’t even describe it, it’s something no one should have to deal with,” says Cody.
When Cody got the credit card offer in the mail addressed to Brayden, he knew something was wrong. “It only leads me to believe that someone is using his social security number to benefit financially.” Says Cody. “And it’s personally very sickening to take advantage of someone’s loved one like that.”
Cody has filed police reports, sent letters to the Attorney General’s Office, and tried to run credit reports but says he’s stuck, and the problem continues to grow. He thinks someone in the family is doing it, and maybe to his now 6 year old daughter too.
“When I first ran a credit report on my daughter they were asking security questions that involved mortgages, car loans, cellphone information that they have gotten with that social security information, and it just floored me,” says Cody. He says it’s brought back pain of loss, and a fear of gaining credit problems for his daughter. “She could start from ground zero and not be given the same opportunity everyone else has.”
Cody says he’s going to continue to investigate, but wants others to learn from his feeling of hopelessness. “Instead of robbing a bank people are stealing identities,” he says.
A representative from the Attorney General’s Office says it does happen where people will open accounts under other people’s names. It’s a serious crime that could come with felony charges. Experts say checking your credit report often is important.