A mom from Kansas is trying to sort out how her son’s Social Security number was used to rent a car, open bank accounts and credit cards in Milwaukee, especially since he’s just 11-years-old.
Wiesje Sammis said she recently got a confusing call from a Milwaukee County detective.
“They asked if had he rented a car? I was, of course, like, ‘Ummm no, he’s 11,'” said Sammis.
Sammis said her son Terrelle Lewis’s identity was stolen and his Social Security number was being used.
“I think it’s kind of shocking. That you can do that these days,” said Lewis.
According to court documents, police found the suspect at a Walmart in West Milwaukee. He was drinking a bottle beer and walking aisles.
When they asked him for ID he gave them a fake driver’s license and a Social Security card with Lewis’s number on it.
Records show the suspect also rented a car back in January and never returned it. He also opened up multiple credit cards and bank accounts.
Lewis’s mother said police told her the man likely bought her son’s Social Security number online. She thinks it was taken during a data breach of his health insurance company four years ago.
“‘There’s no way somebody could take a child’s identity. There’s just no way’ is what I thought,” said Sammis.
Now she is worried others have his number as well.
“I think this will impact him long term,” said Sammis.
To protect children’s identities, parents are encouraged to apply for a security freeze. Security freezes are available through one of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
For more consumer information on child identity theft, visit the FTC’s website.