Cashing in on kids

By Lee Marshall – bio|email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It's a crime that can easily go undetected, one that many might not even think about happening and the targets are your children.

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It is a cruel world out there when identity thieves target kids, stealing their social security numbers, opening up credit lines, taking shopping sprees, and running up thousands of dollars in debt.

Sometimes the bad guys are their own parents.

"I saw that there was over $100,000 listed on my credit."

Larry Braziel Junior, found out his identity had been stolen when he turned 18 and got a call from a collection agency.

"There was a capitol one credit card. There was also a providian credit card, a mortgage for $41,000."

Turns out, Braziel claims the thief was his own father.

"About 2 thirds of the perpetrators are family members", says Linda Foley from the identity theft resource center.

Thief's also can get just enough information from what kids give out over the internet.

"Make sure you put a fraud alert and just say I'm only such and such years old and do not issue credit without calling first, says attorney Mari J. Frank.

When the bad guy is the parent, many young victims don't find out for years.

"I've only been able to clean up half of that and I'm still around $50,000 in debt right now", says Larry Braziel Jr.