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CNN Today

Toddler Offered Credit Card

Aired January 28, 2000 - 2:48 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: Credit card companies are always looking for new customers, but maybe they're going just a little too far. As Robin Schwartz from CNN affiliate WJBK in Detroit reports, one company seems to be recruiting customers right out of the playpen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN SCHWARTZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to racing through the house, 19-month-old Brendan Coss (ph) can certainly charge up a storm.

But give the little guy a credit card, and he's baffled. So is Brendan's mom when Citibank sent this application, offering the toddler his very own account as part of a special promotion.

KRISTEN PASSENO, BRENDAN'S MOM: First of all, I was wondering how they even got his name. And since they have his name, obviously anybody can get it.

SCHWARTZ: He does have a Social Security number, and his credit history is squeaky clean. But how could this happen?

We talked to a former bank president who has a theory.

ARTHUR NITZSCHE, BANKING EXPERT: Perhaps the computer misread the age. Who knows? Maybe instead of 19 months they looked at it and they thought it was 19 years old.

SCHWARTZ: He thinks the error was made by a listing company or a credit-reporting agency. Not that any of that matters to Brendan, who doesn't seem to need a credit card to do his charging.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HALL: And that was Robin Schwartz from CNN affiliate WJBK in Detroit.

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