By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - A local food pantry has been ripped off just weeks before the holiday season begins.
Omaha police say a woman stole her grandson's identity to get donations from Project Hope, but how can you tell if someone's using your name without your permission?
The Better Business Bureau says it's difficult but there are ways you can protect yourself.
Just weeks from Thanksgiving, the shelves at Project Hope are bare. To make matters even worse, police say a crook took advantage of the pantry's generosity and stole food. "It's frustrating to me knowing that that happened or that it happened to us," Project Hope Executive Director, Lori Lindberg said.
Tara Davis said her mother stole her son's social security number and ID, all to get extra food from the pantry. "I don't think that they did their job, I really don't. My mom has friends that work at Project Hope so they'll just over look it."
Lindberg says employees did everything they are supposed to. People that come in have to show ID and social security cards for everyone in their family plus proof of where they live. "I mean if they have it. They can be served for those people," she said.
"What if one day I need food and I need a pantry and I use my kids social security numbers and I'm not eligible and I should be eligible," Davis said.
Lindberg said they are there to serve those in need. She's shocked someone took advantage of the system and stole an identity to take from people who need it.
The Better Business Bureau said the best way you can protect yourself is by putting a lock or alert on your name through credit reporting agencies like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. "Take advantage of that because you never know who and what is going to use your identity," Davis said.
The Better Business Bureau encourages everyone to check their credit history annually just to make sure no one's using your name or your information without your permission. You can get a copy of your report for free thru any of the three agencies.
At this time police say they have not charged the woman involved. However they are investigating the case further.
If you would like to donate to Project Hope, it's asking people donate the following items:
Personal Care Items are also requested:
-Feminine Hygiene Products
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