EFFINGHAM-Identity thieves claiming your kids' as their own. It's more common than you think.
When filing her taxes, a red flag came up for Lena Roley.
"It came back rejected from the IRS," Roley says.
All three of her kids claimed as dependents by someone else.
"For someone to tell me that there's someone else out there saying my children are theirs concerns me big time for their future," Roley says.
The irony: Roley used to work at a tax store and keeps all important documents under lock and key.
"I don't know who took the kids' identity or how they got it,"she says.
Nicole Renfro is a manager at Liberty Tax.
"Unfortunately it's more common than you would necessarily think,"Renfro says.
Many clients learn their or their kids' identities have been stolen when filing taxes, and then they have to prove their claim.
"If you're going to dispute something like that you're going to have to paper file and have all the supporting documents showing you can claim that child as a dependent," Renfro says.
But before it happens to you, take precautions. Keep important info in encrypted files and documents in a safe place.
"I'm trying to make sure we do everything at home so we make sure this doesn't happen again," Roley says. Meantime, Roley has notified the federal trade commission and local law enforcement
"These people don't have the right to do this."
There are many steps you can take to protect your and your children's identities. You can find many of those tips by following this link.