Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:02 PM EDT2013-05-22 17:02:01 GMT
It's been 24 hours since news broke of a Federal Bureau of Investigation raid at the City-County Building confiscating files from the Indy Land Bank program. The federal investigation also led to the arrestMore >>
Mayor Ballard held a news conference this morning hoping to shine light on several significant construction projects going around the city this season. Instead, all anyone wanted to talk about was the federal investigation into the Land Bank program, what he knew, when and why he didn't say something sooner.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:38 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:38:55 GMT
You paid for it. Now the question is, where is it? Tonight at 11:00 pm, 13 Investigates has discovered the State of Indiana has thousands of items classified as lost or missing. Some of it is stuff youMore >>
What is the state doing with a concert grand piano and a robotic deer? And why are these items - and others - missing?
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:09 AM EDT2013-05-22 15:09:50 GMT
The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups has told Congress she did nothing wrong and has invoked her constitutional right to notMore >>
The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the storm over the agency's targeting of conservative groups has told Congress she did nothing wrong and has invoked her constitutional right to not answer lawmakers' questions.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:56:01 GMT
Telemarketers are deploying new tactics to get your secret information - and all they have to do is get you to answer the phone. A call to a home phone this week showed up on the screen as "private name,More >>
Telemarketers are deploying new tactics to get your secret information - and all they have to do is get you to answer the phone.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:55 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:55:33 GMT
Tiger Woods says the "fried chicken" comment from Sergio Garcia was hurtful and inappropriate. Two weeks after they verbally sparred at The Players Championship, Woods says it's time to move on. GarciaMore >>
Tiger Woods says the "fried chicken" comment from Sergio Garcia was hurtful and inappropriate. Two weeks after they verbally sparred at The Players Championship, Woods says it's time to move on.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:46 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:46:45 GMT
In a community used to experiencing tornadoes, many in Moore, Oklahoma are in a state of shock. "This was the storm of storms," said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Monday's tornado was categorizedMore >>
The mayor of the Oklahoma City suburb battered by a monstrous tornado says he is pushing to require safe-room shelters in all new homes.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:35 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:35:19 GMT
A $3.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will help place about 90 teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools. Some $2 million of that grant to The Mind Trust will go toward adding 40 people to theMore >>
A $3.4 million grant from the Lilly Endowment will help place about 90 teachers in the Indianapolis Public Schools.More >>
Indianapolis - Imagine someone stealing your child's identity. It happens to thousands of kids every year and most parents have no idea how to stop it. 13 Investigates shows you how to protect your children from this devastating crime, and it's free.
Christina Morog had a credit card before she learned how to ride a tricycle. According to her credit report, Morog opened the credit card account when she was one year old.
"I would never open a credit card when I was one," she said. "I didn't do it."
It turns out someone used Morog's social security number to get a CitiBank credit card in 1987. She discovered the problem almost two decades later when she asked for a copy of her credit report but, by then, it was too late. The credit card linked to her social security number had a $30,000 balance.
"I was sort of in shock. I've never even seen $30,000," Morog told 13 Investigates. "It's scary because you hear about people that can never get this stuff off their credit."
Morog's story is not uncommon.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were more than 34,000 incidents of childhood identity theft between 2005 and 2007, and the actual number of cases is likely much higher because the crime often goes undetected for years.
"Bad guys love child social security numbers because it's kind of a sleeper account," explained Steve Ely, president of consumer services for the Equifax credit bureau. "If you can get ahold of a child's social security number when they're two years old, you've got 14, 15, 16 years of being able to use that identity without potentially getting caught."
Four-year-old with a mortgage payment
Recent cases show why some unscrupulous adults target kids for their credit:
In January, prosecutors charged a Florida woman with stealing her 7-year-old daughter's identity to open a credit card account. The woman faced felony charges of grand theft and fraudulent use of personal information after her estranged husband discovered a maxed-out, overdue credit card had been opened in their daughter's name.
Earlier this year, police in California arrested a man for allegedly stealing the identity of a four-year-old child who died in 1984. Investigators from the San Bernardino County Disrict Attorney's office said the man used the deceased boy's identity to buy a home and a vehicle and to obtain several credit cards.
And last year near Chicago, a man was charged with felony identity theft after he allegedly created a fake social security card bearing the name and social security number of a four-year-old boy. Police say the man used the victim's information to obtain a truck, three jobs, gas and electrical service for his home, a credit card, unemployment benefits and over $60,000 in pay and services.
"That's scary and that's alarming," said Chrissy Shah, while playing with her three sons at Indianapolis' Holliday Park. Like most parents, Shah has never checked her kids' credit files. Because children are not supposed to have credit (and, therefore, no credit history and no credit file) most parents assume there is no reason to ask if a credit file exists.
According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, childhood identity theft is most often committed by parents, but teachers, coaches and babysitters have also been charged with the crime. Police say social security numbers (for both adults and children) should be provided only when absolutely necessary and should otherwise be closely protected.
Monitoring Your Kid's Credit is Free
But with thousands of cases of childhood identity theft each year, major credit bureaus say parents shouldn't make assumptions when it comes to their kids' credit. And monitoring your child's credit is free.
"We can let the parent know if indeed there is a credit file opened in that child's name," explained Ely. "If you were to discover that your 9-year-old has a credit file open, that would probably indicate that a bad guy has gotten ahold of their social security number and created a new identity .... If a file does exist, that's a pretty big red flag that there's something wrong there and you need to look into that."
Equifax, TransUnion and Experian all allow parents to request what's called a Minor Child Credit File Check. While the check-up is free, the credit bureaus do require parents to submit copied documentation such as a drivers license, social security card and/or birth certificate to verify identities before they will release credit file information.
If you request a file check for your kids, you'll then be notified with one of two responses: either your child has no credit file (that's good) or a credit file linked to your child's social security number already exists (that's trouble). If your child has a credit file, you will also be told what steps are needed to protect your child's credit and identity, and how to remove any fraudulent activity from your child's credit file.
In Morog's case, it took nearly two years to wipe her credit file clean.
"The faster you can catch it, the less amount of problems that are going to happen," she said. "For me, it took like eighteen years before I found out and then it feels like you're running around in circles to get it fixed."
Morog is now a professional financial planner who advises parents to keep an eye on their children's credit.
"It's so important to keep your kids' credit in good standing for their future, and if there's a problem, at least you can catch it when they're young," she said. "Everyone says ‘[identity theft] is not going to happen to me.' It can."
This spring, Indiana lawmakers passed a new law that stiffens penalties for childhood identity theft. The crime is now a felony punishable by two to eight years in prison.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:37:26 GMT
A South Bend teenager who angered a judge by smirking during his sentencing for killing a 16-year-old boy has received the maximum time behind bars allowed under a plea agreement. St. Joseph SuperiorMore >>
A South Bend teenager who angered a judge by smirking during his sentencing for killing a 16-year-old boy has received the maximum time behind bars allowed under a plea agreement.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:21 AM EDT2013-05-22 09:21:57 GMT
State health officials are urging people to be careful as they head for Indiana's lakes and other bodies of water for summer recreation. The Indiana State Department of Health this week issued a listMore >>
State health officials are urging people to be careful as they head for Indiana's lakes and other bodies of water for summer recreation.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:50:23 GMT
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is searching offices at the Indianapolis City-County Building Tuesday. Several city employees have been arrested. The Department of Metropolitan Development DirectorMore >>
Two city employees and three others are accused of using a city program aimed at tackling the abandoned house problem and turning it into a money-making venture. The five face charges involving wire fraud and bribery.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:52 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:52:29 GMT
We've seen the damage from Oklahoma, hundreds of homes leveled. You have also seen those that survived a direct hit did so in a storm shelter. Storms shelters have not caught on in Indiana like otherMore >>
Storm shelters haven't caught on in Indiana like in some states along Tornado Alley, but more Hoosiers are making the investment to keep their families safe.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:24 AM EDT2013-05-22 08:24:20 GMT
Organizers of a summer camp for children of military families say the program will go on this summer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore despite losing federal funding. Operators of Indiana Operation:More >>
Organizers of a summer camp for children of military families say the program will go on this summer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore despite losing federal funding.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:22 AM EDT2013-05-22 08:22:57 GMT
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to add three Superfund sites in Indiana to its highest priority cleanup list for hazardous waste sites. The EPA proposed Tuesday adding Superfund sites inMore >>
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to add three Superfund sites in Indiana to its highest priority cleanup list for hazardous waste sites.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:44 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:44:57 GMT
Cody Zeller's decision to leave Indiana University and head to the NBA looks like it may be paying off. Zeller's stock has gone up considerably after his performance last week at the NBA Combine in Chicago.More >>
Cody Zeller's decision to leave Indiana University and head to the NBA looks like it may be paying off.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:01 PM EDT2013-05-22 01:01:00 GMT
Police arrested a semi driver with a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit after a tip from a motorist in Grant County. State troopers monitoring a work zone on I-69 near the 271More >>
Police arrested a semi driver with a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit after a tip from a motorist in Grant County.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:47 AM EDT2013-05-22 11:47:04 GMT
After a quiet start to the week, things heat up today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Community Day. And the track has a lot of family-friendly events planned. Community Day is a fan favoriteMore >>
After a quiet start to the week, things heat up today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Community Day and a Pacers playoff game tonight. Threre are plenty of fan-friendly events planned for both.More >>