Get Gephardt Investigates: Utah 18-year-old struggles to prove her identity

Utah 18-year-old struggles to prove her identity belongs to her (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Taylor Groth just turned 18 which, for her, meant buying her own car.

"I was really excited," she said.

But that process came to a screeching halt while when she applied for a loan. Some identity thief has been using her name and Social Security number for years.

"[The lender] said, basically, they can't process the loan," she said.

It's a fraud that her mom has been trying to clear up since Groth was 11 but, police reports, contacting the Social Security Administration and notifications to the nation’s credit bureaus haven’t fixed the issues.

Now that Groth is an adult, she's stuck spending hours trying to clean up the mess.

"I'm very frustrated,” she said. “I'm just mad all the time because nothing's getting done."

Supervising special agent Kevin Pepper with the Utah Attorney General's Office has been fighting identity theft for more than 30 years. He said it's a fight law enforcement is losing.

"It takes forever," he said. "There are thousands of children's Social Security numbers being used just in Utah alone."

Peppers said the best defense is to put a credit freeze on your child's social security number and destroy anything with sensitive information.

"Shred everything!" he said.

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