Stealing From Children Killed By Cancer | News
ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- Identity thieves appear to have a new target: children who have died of cancer.
When four-year-old Alexis Agin died in January after a 33- month fight with brain cancer, her parents filed an extension of their federal income taxes in order to assemble a mountain of Alexis' medical bills.
When their accountant filed electronically this week, the family got a shock. The return was bounced because someone else had used Alexis' Social Security number and claimed her as a dependent.
"I was extremely aggravated, upset, you know. It's bad enough that you have to deal with a child who has cancer and then watch them die in your house, but then to find out that somebody is trying to profit off your deceased child, it's just beyond belief," said Alexis' dad, Jonathan Agin.
"This is the last thing that we needed right now. I mean we're going through enough. It's just so despicable and immoral and horrible that someone could think to do this," said Neely Agin, Alexis' mom.
The couple has become close to other parents whose children have died from cancer, and communicate on the web.
"I posted something on my page just to give people a heads up about what happened and within 24 hours five other parents have come forward telling us the same thing has happened," said Jonathan Agin.
The Internal Revenue Service issued this statement in response to 9News Now inquiries:
We want to express our deepest sympathy to this family. It's important to note that we have special procedures in place to help victims of identity theft with tax issues.
While we are prohibited by federal law from discussing any individual's private tax matters, we know identity theft is a frustrating, complex process for victims. The IRS takes this issue very seriously and is taking special steps to assist people caught in this situation.
We have established a special Identity Protection Specialized Unit to help people, and more information is available on our web site, www.IRS.gov. This is part of a broader identity theft effort at the IRS focused on preventing, detecting and resolving identity theft cases as soon as possible. These are among our most complex cases. The IRS is firmly committed to working with taxpayers to take care of these problems as quickly as possible.
The Agins work with a foundation to raise funds to fight the aggressive brain cancer that killed Alexis and are planning a 5K walk and run in Arlington on November Sixth.