While your children may seem beyond the reach of identity theft and fraud, identity thieves often see children as easy targets. Children, because they have no credit histories, can be perfect candidates for criminals plotting to open fraudulent accounts. Such accounts can go unnoticed for years—only to surface when your child applies for his first line of credit. Imagine a teen or young adult learning that he or she has automobile loans, student loans or debts that have entered collections!
A recent report on child identity theft, authored by Richard Power of Carnegie Mellon CyLab, surveyed 40,000 U.S. children and found that just over 10 percent of the children included in the survey had impersonators using their Social Security numbers. This is a clear indication that identity theft is a serious issue for children. As a parent, it’s your issue, as well.
You can take the following steps to help protect your child from identity theft.
Asking schools and other organizations how your child’s information is collected, stored, used and thrown away can also be a way to help prevent identity theft. Remember, prevention is the key to protecting your loved ones from the risks of identity theft.