Identity Theft's Young Victims: How
to Protect Your Children's Identities
By Howard Goff
When we think
of identity theft, children are probably not the first victims
we might imagine. Unfortunately, more and more kids are
being targeted for this crime, and the culprits may not be who
you think. Right now, approximately 4% of all identity theft
cases involve children, which means roughly 400,000 kids a year
are having their futures ruined without their knowledge.
an article on MSNBC.com, a 24-year old man explained that by the
age of 10, his identity had been used to accumulate almost
$250,000 in debt and to commit a felony. Another victim, a 9-year
old boy, received a collection notice for a $2,000 debt.
most identity theft victims, however, these two individuals know
exactly who was responsible for committing this crime: their
fathers. According to the article, almost two-thirds of all
child-related identity theft cases are committed by family
A child becomes a victim, in most cases,
because someone else uses their social security number and name to
open a credit card or to have utilities turned on. While the
information can be used in other ways, those are two of the most
common. And, because children aren't interested in their credit
history until they turn 18 or older, most never even realize the
crime has been committed until years after the theft started.
are some ways to protect your child against potential identity
their social security number locked up in a secure location – If
criminals don't have access to your child's social security
number, they can't steal it. Never carry their card in your purse
or wallet where it could easily be lost or stolen. Never share the
number with another family member or anyone else who does not have
a professional need to know.
to not have their SSN listed on insurance cards – Many insurance
companies list social security numbers on their cards. If yours
does, then contact them and ask to use a different number.
not allow your child to know his or her SSN until its necessary
– Young children have no reason to know their social security
numbers or to have access to their SSN card. Keep those documents
safe and private until your child needs them. Children are often
tempted to reveal more than they should to friends, family
members, even strangers.
their credit report – While a yearly check of their report may
not be necessary unless you suspect a problem, it's a good idea to
periodically check your child's credit reports for activity. Your
child shouldn't have anything listed at all, but if anything does
show up contact the credit bureau and the listed creditors
if you are a parent you should NEVER use your child's social
security number fraudulently. Not only are you committing a crime,
but you are also making your child's life more difficult.
Furthermore, if you know or suspect that someone is wrongly using
their child's personal information, then you should contact the
authorities. Don't sit idly by while they ruin that child's
you want more information on preventing, detecting, or rectifying
identity theft problems for children and adults, then you need to
read Identity Theft: A Resource Guide from PCSecurityNews.com. The
ebook is available at http://www.pcsecuritynews.com/identity_theft.html
Novotny, Monica. “Robbing the Cradle.” Countdown with Keith
Author Howard Goff
teaches you how to reduce your risk of becoming an Identity Theft
victim in his e-Book "Identity Theft, A Resource Guide".
This article is just part of the incredible content contained in
this 50-page gold mine of information. Get your free copy of this
guide today at: Identity
Theft . Howard Goff has 3 years of specialized experience in
the security industry and has been involved in the Internet for
over 15 years. He founded http://www.PCSecurityNews.com
in early 2003 where his company has offered advice and security
products to hundreds of thousands of people. Visitors to this web
site have access to an extensive FAQ and free Spyware
Paper Shredders at Amazon.com
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