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Kids turn in their mom after she stole their identities for 12 credit cards, NC cops say

How do you know if you are a victim of identity theft?

It isn't always easy to tell if your personal information has been stolen for fraudulent purposes or your accounts have been compromised. Here are some common signs that you might be a victim of identity theft.
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It isn't always easy to tell if your personal information has been stolen for fraudulent purposes or your accounts have been compromised. Here are some common signs that you might be a victim of identity theft.

She might have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

A woman in North Carolina reportedly stole her children’s identities to open up 12 credit cards at retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Walmart and the Gap before unexplained packages tipped the kids off, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

“The victims alleged their social security number and other pertinent information was used without their consent to open 12 credit accounts through various vendors by their mother,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Bristol Kay King, 34, was charged with 12 counts of identity theft and unlawfully obtaining credit cards, the sheriff’s department said. She posted a $120,000 bond within a few hours of her arrest.

According to the sheriff’s department, King is from Cerro Gordo — a town of about 200 people an hour outside of Wilmington.

Her kids, whose names and ages were not released because they are minors, reportedly noticed packages arriving at the house that were addressed to them, sheriff’s department spokesperson Michele Tatum told McClatchy news group on Thursday.

Not only had they not ordered them, Tatum said, but they weren’t allowed to open or touch them. The kids were reportedly living with King at the time and told their dad and stepmom.

“The older child was knowledgeable enough to say, ‘Hey, that’s my name. What’s going on?’” Tatum said.

She said the dad and stepmom discovered the fraud after deciding to run a credit check on the children. They then took them to the sheriff’s department to report their mother in June, the sheriff’s department said.

Police documents indicate the charges on the accounts occurred between 2014 and 2016, Tatum said, but the amount King reportedly spent is unknown.

The 12 accounts were opened with Discover, Express, Maurices, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Walmart, American Eagle, Belk, Lowe’s, Care Credit, Capital One, and JPMorgan Chase, Tatum said.

King’s first court appearance is at the Columbus County Courthouse on Friday.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.
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