When Family Members Steal Your Identity - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

When Family Members Steal Your Identity

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Courtesy: ccmostwanted.com Courtesy: ccmostwanted.com

Axton Betz-Hamilton was 19 when she first requested a copy of her credit report. She expected a high score - but got exactly the opposite.

"My credit report was 10 pages long full of fraudulent credit card entries and associated collection agency entries."

She learned her identity had been stolen years earlier, when she was just eleven. But the biggest shock was who stole it - her own mother.

"Not only did she steal my identity, she stole my father's identity as well as my grandfather's identity. She ruined her own credit and then moved on to ours."

Axton discovered it after her mother had died.

Adam Levin runs identity Theft 911 and says there are millions of cases like Axton's. Family members use a child's name and Social Security number to open accounts and since most companies do not cross reference the age, the fraud goes undetected.

"It may only surface when a child applies for a credit product whether they're applying for a student loan or their car or their first credit card."

The Federal Trade Commission has a guide for how to recover from identity theft, but when a family member is the culprit, there are extra challenges.

"That fundamental aspect of, this woman is my mother, she's there to take care of me - that's been shattered," says Betz-Hamilton.

Axton's credit score is finally in order; she has spent most of her career studying identity theft.

To see if your child is the victim of identity theft, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com to order his or her credit report.

You can also find the link to the Federal Trade Commission's Guide.

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