NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Law enforcement is warning parents about a potential scam that could be used to steal the identity of children.
Here’s how it works: The scammers contact the parent offering “child safety kits” saying that they are the best way law enforcement can quickly locate a child in an emergency. The scam requires the parent to provide sensitive personal information about the child.
A Yulee mother who spoke to News4Jax believes she was the target of one of these scams.
Jamie Fredericks was home with her young daughter Tuesday when she answered the door and found a man on her front step saying he had her child safety kit.
“It said that you ordered a child safety kit from us,” the man said.
The man knew Fredericks’ name and some of her personal information and told her it would only take half an hour to fill out the remaining paperwork. But she never ordered such a kit. She knew something was off.
“Some strange guy coming up to you, coming up to your house, asking you to come to his vehicle, you don’t know if they’re gonna take you," Fredericks said.
Her daughter is two years old, so Fredericks reported the incident to law enforcement.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper agreed Thursday the man did act suspiciously in the video. The Sheriff’s Office put out an alert this week advising people to be aware of the potential scam and report any suspicious activity.
“The Sheriff’s Office does have an ordinance against neighborhood solicitation, and the Fredericks makes it clear they don’t want any," Leeper said.
Sheriff Leeper said there are legitimate child safety kits and his office offers some for free.
“You’ve just got to be extremely careful because there are people that will kidnap, but the main reason with the child safety kits is that they’re trying to steal your children’s identities. From what I’ve heard is they ask you to fill out the kit, they get your child’s fingerprints, information, social security number and then they take your child’s identity. And they don’t have any record of anything, they’re not old enough," Frederiks said.
The Better Business Bureau says scammers know that people rarely, if ever, check their child’s credit report, which means they can get away with using a child’s information for years before being found out.