'I'm Only 11 Years Old, and I Have Bad Credit'

Florida thief uses pre-teen's identity to buy home, cars
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2009 8:00 PM CDT
Experts say because a child's identity is so inactive, thieves can often get away with it for years.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – While 11-year-old Jake LeGette was saving the money he earned mowing lawns, a Florida woman was busy using his Social Security number to splurge on a house and nine cars, ABC News reports. Jake and his mother, a Miami-area police officer, discovered the ID theft after trying to open a bank account to store his $500 in savings.

The unidentified woman stole Jake's identity about 4 years ago. Thieves often target children because their credit is so inactive, and experts suggest parents investigate if their children start receiving credit card applications or calls from debt collectors. “It makes me mad,” said Jake’s mom, while he marveled, “I'm only 11 years old, and I have bad credit.”