Sep 11, 2015 5:00 PM
MANCHESTER - A Strafford mother is fighting not only for her child but for other children, as well, after having her child's identify stolen.
Her 7-seven-year-old daughter, Madison, was killed in a car crash.
“Smart,” Weeks describes her little girl. “She was bright. She was loving and caring.”
Then, thieves stole Madison's identity.
While tens of millions of adults have their identities stolen, children like Madison can be victims, too.
A year after Madison's death, Weeks and her husband went to file their tax return only to learn that a thief had already claimed their daughter as a dependent.
That was when Lori and her husband realized something was wrong and that the nightmare of their child’s death would get worse.
“All you have left it their name and their identity,” said Weeks. “That's all we have.”
Since then, she's learned, “There are so many kids who are being preyed upon by these people.”
Weeks called the IRS looking for help but got anything but.
She says she spent countless hours on the phone after being transferred from one agent to the next, all while being forced to explain her story over and over again.
Those are just some of the reasons Weeks joined forced with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
At a recent field hearing in Manchester, Ayotte questioned the IRS Commissioner, asking how this could be happening and later telling us she wasn't satisfied with his answers.
“They can do better, and you heard me express some skepticism,” said Ayotte.
The senator wants more resources, stop-gaps, and then quick solutions.
“If you become a victim of identity theft, to not get the run-around, to actually be treated with dignity and respect,” she said.
According to one study, students are about 50 times more likely than their parents to have their identities stolen and most of them range in age from elementary through high school kids.
So far this year, there have been 39 reported data breaches at universities and school districts and in all, that’s exposing nearly 750,000 records, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
So what is the IRS doing?
With more than 800,000 cases of identity theft in 2014 alone, they promise to resolve cases quicker.
They say they’ve also added 3,000 more employees for identity theft cases and have trained more than 35,000 employees about the rising problem.
“I want to see our children protected, especially the families that have lost their children,” Weeks said. “She would want me to step up and defend her and defend all the other kids who have had this happen to them. That's what she would have done.”
Here are several links to clink on for help.
“Smart,” Weeks describes her little girl as she looks at a picture. “She was bright. She was loving and caring.”
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