'When I need help for my disabled son, I'm scared they aren't going to give it to me'

'When I need help for my disabled son, I'm scared they aren't going to give it to me' »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Imagine getting pulled over by police and told you have an outstanding ticket that you never got. It sounds crazy, but it happened to a Yakima woman who had her identity stolen. The crime now threatens her ability to take care of her family.

"I feel like my hands are ties and I can't do anything about it and no one will help me put a stop to it," said Yakima woman, Anastasia Covarrubias.

It's why she called KIMA. Her identity was stolen, along with her hope.

"My heart just stopped beating thinking what am I going to do next month," said Anastasia.

Anastasia can't work. She spends her days taking care of her disabled son and husband. Their disability benefits put a roof over her family's head. Anastasia ran into a problem when she reapplied for those benefits this year. She got a question she never expected to hear.

"I was asked, 'why didn't I report those wages?'" Anastasia said. "My benefits were going to be cut off or lowered because of that and I said, that's not me ma'am."

According to the city and even the state, Anastasia does work. They told her she was listed as employed at the Ledgestone Hotel on Fair Avenue.

In an effort to help, KIMA went to Ledgestone and asked managers about the woman using her maiden name and posing as Anastasia. They tell Action News the woman doesn't work there now, but did sometime in the last two years.

The fake Anastasia also used her ID when police pulled her over. Now, the real Anastasia has a ticket she refuses to pay.

"I'm risking getting stopped and being put in jail if my license is flagged," said Anastasia.

Anastasia filed a complaint, but can't see a judge for more than a month. That's a problem because her family plans to move to Texas next weekend.

"When I need help for my disabled son, I'm scared they aren't going to give it to me because this woman working under my identity," said Anastasia. "It's getting really scary at this point for me."

When we called Yakima's legal department, the city agreed to see Anastasia and do everything to hear her case earlier. It's the first step to calm her nerves and take back her identity.

The Department of Licensing expanded its facial recognition system in June to try to stop cases like this. State investigators have used the technology to look into almost 200 cases of potential fraud.