An 11-Year-Old With Bad Credit? Mother Fights for Son's Identity

LeGette said they believe Jake's identity was stolen when he was around 6 or 7 years old. Though she stores his card in a safe place and couldn't recall using the number for anything, it may have been lifted either from his school registration or medical records.

"She may have been careful with it," Broder said, "but someone else may not have been as careful as she."

Child identity theft victims can be more challenging than adults, she said, because the thief has had years to establish an identity while the child may not have used the number at all.

"It's so devastating," she said.

The good news is that Jake should be able to recover his identity, Broder said.

"It'll take a concerted effort by his parents to untangle it," she said.

That's a fight LeGette said she's prepared for.

"It makes me mad," she said. "It's just a frustrating experience you have to go through to clear it up."

How to Protect Your Child's Identity

Broder said that while it's usually not necessary to get regular credit reports for a child the way an adult should, there are some things parents should watch out for.

Parents should investigate if a credit card application comes in the mail addressed to their children, Broder said, and be suspicious of any calls to their children from debt collectors.

In addition to keeping a close watch on who gets your child's Social Security number, parents should also never give out their children's information over the phone and they should teach their children safe computer practices, such as not giving out or posting their dates of birth.

In the end, Jake was able to open his savings account. And though Jake wasn't sure what was happening at first, LeGette said he understands that someone took his information and did something they weren't supposed to.

"I'm only 11 years old," Jake told ABC affiliate WPLG, "and I have bad credit.".

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