LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews) -- Identity theft has no age limit.
Some families are learning that the hard way. In this Rip-Off Alert, the cost can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and more.
You are looking at three different women writing bad checks in some well-known stores. Postal inspectors say the suspects 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 U.S. Postal Inspector Cecil Frink.
Inspectors say the ring leader recruited people down on their luck to help in his scam.
He would make fake ID’s 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,” Frink said.
The suspects wrote hundreds of bad check totaling more than $500,000.
“Handlers would take them out and tell them what to buy and they might get 25 percent,” Frink said.
The scam artists 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…” Frink said.
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. Keep this in mind – authorities say you can order a credit report for your child as soon as they get their Social Security number.