Meet Christopher Lamont Bowles. Mr. Bowles, 40, has been arrested for stealing the identity of a 12 year-old, and opening accounts using the kid’s social security number.
Bowles was arrested by the Coweta County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office after an investigation that charges Bowles with opening a “deposit account” at a local credit union, then attempting to take out a loan using social security number of the 12 year-old.
According to a report in the Times-Herald (Newnan, GA), Bowles obtained the social security number of a 12 year-old he did not know who lived in Ohio.
After opening the account in Newnan, in the west-central part of the state, Bowles returned the same day to the credit union and applied for a loan. A suspicious bank loan officer found problems with Bowles paperwork, and contacted the Coweta County Sherriff’s office.
The Sheriff’s investigation revealed that the social security number Bowles used actually belong to the Ohio 12 year-old. Bowles was using his own name and date of birth, but used the child’s social security number.
This type of fraud is labeled “synthetic identity fraud,” which the Federal Trade Commission describes thusly: “Synthetic identity theft is the fastest growing type of ID fraud and its occurrences have surpassed “true-name” identity fraud. The ID Analytics study states it currently accounts for 80 -85 percent of all identity fraud. This is when thieves combine real and fake information to create a brand new and different identity. For example; they use your Social Security number and combine it with a different name, address and phone number. They can then open new accounts, acquires credit cards, cell phones and other goods and services not in your name but because of your social security number. ”
Bowles has been charged with forgery in the first degree, and two counts of identity fraud. The Times-Herald reported that more charges are expected.