Child identity theft Facts allow parents to know and understand what dangers could follow their child since they are born. As this is a very common type of identity theft and happens when children or teens below 18 years of age become a victim of identity theft.
Identity thieves use the Social Security Number (SSN) of children to acquire new lines of credit using their names. The reason behind using children’s identities is that children’s identity can be obtained when they are just born and can be used till the child becomes an adult. This is because children do not require to have a credit line and no one checks children’s credit as they don’t have any. So to have maximum use of a stolen identity, the identity thief acquires a child’s identity and commits child identity theft. In this article we will give some useful facts that will be knowledgeable to you in order to save your child from any theft attacks:
1. An astonishing fact about child identity theft is that the identities of children can be stolen before they even have any credit!
2. While committing child identity theft, criminals often commit another form of identity theft known as synthetic identity theft. After stealing a child’s SSN, identity thieves combine the SSN of the child with other fake information such as date of birth, address, etc. and create a synthetic identity of the child. According to a survey conducted by the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) in 2012, this was the most common technique.
3. In most cases, child identity theft is used to commit financial identity theft to obtain money. But in several other cases, a child’s information is also used to acquire a loan, rent an apartment, or to obtain a job or even medical treatment.
4. Every 1 in 40 households having children under the age of 18 years is affected by identity theft in the United States according to the 2012 Child Identity Fraud Report. This report was sponsored by the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) and was conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research.
5. Children of ages between 6 and 11 years are most vulnerable to identity theft according to the Javelin Strategy and Research.
6. More than 55% of the child identity theft cases reported that the identity theft involved the misuse of the child’s Social Security Number (SSN).
7. Almost 50% of the identity theft victims were from lower income families with incomes under $35,000.
8. According to a study, roughly 500,000 children have fallen for identity fraud.
9. According to Carnegie Mellon CyLab, children under the age of 18 years are 51 times more likely to become victims of identity theft than their parents.
10. A very surprising and sad fact is that about 36% of the victims found that the thief was a family member and 36% of the victims found that the thief was a family friend.
11. The reason behind having family members and family friends to be the criminals is that they have very easy access to the child’s information.
12. Have a look at this case: Axton Betz-Hamilton’s mother used the identities of her daughter, her husband and her father-in-law for almost 20 years!
13. An identity thief can acquire the information of your child through school records, library cards, day care centers, social networking websites, etc.
14. You can discover that your child has become a victim of identity theft if you receive credit cards, checks, pre-approved credit card offers, bills, bank statements, etc. in the name of the child or if collection agencies call you or send letters about accounts opened in the name of your child which actually you have not opened.
15. If you attempt to open a savings account in the name of your kid and you discover that an account is already existing, then it is a sign that your child’s identity has been stolen.
16. An identity thief can even obtain a driver’s license in your child’s name by using his SSN. You can discover this when your teenager applies for a driver’s license and is denied to get one as a driver’s license has already been issued in his name.
17. The consequences of child identity theft are – lost and damaged credit, difficulty in opening a savings bank account, the difficulty of getting accepted into college, trouble in applying for a driver’s license, trouble in landing a good job. The child could even have an arrest warrant in his name if the thief used his identity to commit criminal identity theft.
18. To prevent your child from this crime, secure the personal information of your child such as birth certificates, social security cards, etc.
19. Frequently check credit reports of your children and educate your children about online safety.
20. Never share the SSN of your child with anyone.
21. Shred all the documents of your children before disposing of them.
22. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you think your child’s identity has been stolen.
To protect your child’s identity, keep yourself and your child updated with all the security measures. If you keep in mind all the security tips and follow them appropriately, you can avoid the dangers of such theft.