Special Report: Identity theft nightmare

Published: Jan. 30, 2014 at 5:21 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 30, 2014 at 11:02 PM EST
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Cassenda Nelson says it is both a physical and mental challenge everyday to get her mail.  Since 2008 she says being a victim of identity fraud has made her and her four kids life a nightmare.

"My son, he's six.  And he asked me "are we nomads?" Nelson said.

"And I'm like 'no.'"

"Why do we keep moving?"

"I couldn't explain to him that I had no money to pay bills where we were actually living,"she said.

While working as a correctional officer in 2002, Nelson broke her spine in a car crash.  Unable to work, she was forced to rely on Social Security payments.

But in 2008 Nelson says her disability checks were suspended, because an income tax return reported she made too much money.

Nelson reported she did not file that tax return, but her payments were cut until she could prove the tax return was filed by an identity thief.

"Yes, sir.  Every year around March, from 2008 to 2011, Every year around March they discontinued my payments," Nelson said.

Unable to pay her bills, Nelson was forced to move seven times.  "I couldn't even buy Pampers for my kids. It was just small things that I took for granted."

Finally in 2012 the IRS resolved Nelson was an identity theft victim, and locked her account with a pin number to protect her.

Now she is determined to pay all her overdue bills. "It is a struggle to try to get things back in order, but I can do it.  And I will do it."

Nelson warns people to guard their financial identity, because the consequences are life altering.  "This has been tragic for me and my kids. It really has."

As the mail continues to bring bills from the years she was a victim of Identity theft.

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