ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- What would you do if you went to open a checking account for your child only to discover someone else had already fraudulently opened one? Well it's happening here in the Stateline.
Kids are prime targets for people looking to steal identities they have ever applied for anything or established credit so their names and social security numbers are clean slates for thieves.
It happened to Jeanne Oddo. When she went to open a checking account for her 21-year-old son they discovered he already had a bank account that was way overdrafted. Turns out his father opened it in his name when he was just a teenager. A new report shows that young people, especially children younger than five, are more at risk than ever for having their identities stolen.
Jeanne Oddo said, "I would suggest people periodically take their kids to a bank and have them run it through check systems. and run credit reports they are free once a year from all credit reporting agencies because anybody could take anybody's identity."
Experts say you need to start screening your child's social security number when they are very young because they are 35 times more likely to have their information stolen than adults.
In Jeanne's case her son's name is the same as her ex-husband's name. So they didn't check whether the social security number matched up, but it's evidently very common for thieves to take a child's social security number and attach a different name to it.