When 23-year-old Jameilla Shaw tried to set up an AT&T cable account, she was shocked to find she already had an outstanding balance of $3,600 — despite never having purchased a cable package before.
That day, the former foster youth from Contra Costa County learned she was dealing with a painful situation that many foster youth face: her identity had been stolen.
“I didn’t get a chance to build my own credit before I got bad credit,” Shaw said.
Companies like Symantec Corp. and Prosperity Now are stepping up to help protect youth like Shaw who grow up in foster care and who are more vulnerable to identity theft. The companies have started working with nonprofits in communities in California and Arizona to provide resources to foster youth to help clear their credit and steer them toward financial literacy.