News & Resources

Daughter's death leads to identity theft

Nov 28, 2011 Karen Umpierre

Following the death of their child from brain cancer, Jonathan and Neely Agin filed an extension on their tax return to assemble their daughter Alexis' medical records. However, the Agins found that an identity thief had stolen Alexis' Social Security number and used it to claim a dependent deduction, WTSP-TV reports. "Childrens' Social Security numbers and identities are particularly useful for identity thieves because there is no credit report established in a child's name," Joanna Crane of the Identity Theft Resource Center told the news source. She adds that a child's name won't be reported in a credit alert or fraud report, allowing the thief to use it for an extended period of time. "It has created, in many respects, the perfect crime," said Florida Senator Bill Nelson in recent congressional hearings, as quoted by the news source. Even more harrowing is the fact that 11 other families who lost their children reported the same problem within a five-day period. The Agins' congressman, James Moran of Virginia, has pledged to work with the family to discuss possible legislative action that can be taken to prevent further incidents. WUSA-TV notes that the Agins are planning a 5K walk in Arlington during early November to raise funds to fight the brain cancer that killed their daughter.