Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Child Identity Theft: New Fraud

By Amanda Randell
Published: Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Criminals and frauds always find a way to find new tricks. This time the identity theft issue has taken a different and unexpected twist. Though identity theft has been a huge problem in United States, the latest report shows that in there has been 105% increase in identity theft cases associated with children below the age of 5.

The criminals have started targeting children because they have a clean record and most of the parents do not even bother to check credit history until the child reaches 18 years. The criminals usually access the Social Security number and link it to a different name and date of birth. This way, they get a new record which they can use for more than 10 years. One more reason why child’s identity is stolen is because the child does not have any debts, loans or any other line of credit. This gives them a clean slate.

As the parents do not check the records off chance unless and until necessary, this fraud goes on undetected for a longer period of time most of the time. One more problem, the Federal bureau is facing in resolving this issue is, these identity thefts are usually done by criminal organisations that are out of United States. As this is the case, the prosecution is not possible. Only recently have this issue come to limelight because the Health Department server in Utah was exposed in which thousands of children’s data, inclusive of Social Security numbers, were stolen/copied. This incident was revealed in 2006 by a mother of a 5-year-old boy who found out that her son’s identity was stolen and used since 2001. Prosecution was not possible because the criminal’s who did this were outside the jurisdiction of the country.

Prevention is a very broad term when it comes to identity theft because, it cannot be prevented. Only precautions can be taken to avoid putting self and children in a situation which possibly could lead to identity theft. Here are a few tips to help parents protect the children’s identity;

  • Parent should understand that apart from running a credit checks on themselves they should also make it a habit to check their child’s credit history once a few months.
  • If the parent finds out a fraud, complaint has to be filed with an Identity Theft Affidavit immediately. Further, the account should be ‘frozen’.
  • The children’s activities online, especially when it comes to revealing personal information should be monitored.
  • It is also important to educate the child to not disclose personal information to anyone without the parent’s knowledge.
  • Any documents that contain personal information and not useful should be shredded immediately.

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