Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Children become victims of identity theft 33% more often than adults do. That’s an impressive statistic, given that more than 9 million adults are affected by this crime each year. The following will delve into how to keep children(s) identity theft from happening by looking at who commits it most often.


Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/10/2013 -- There is much a parent can do to prevent child identity theft, and the steps to it are common-sense maneuvers. A great deal of this thievery happens over the Internet, so never put private information on a social networking site. Be sure that the anti-virus spy wear on the computer is current. This can trap any number of attempts to get personal information, and it is relatively inexpensive. Other ways an ID thief can obtain a child’s data is if it is listed on a document that just gets tossed in the trash. It is very important to shred all paperwork that contains such data, because once a thief has it, he can ruin a child’s credit rating.

Tips to Prevent Child Identity Theft

Preventing children(s) identity theft is often as simple as never giving out their Social Security numbers (SSN) unless absolutely necessary. If a thief gets hold of that precious identifying number, when a child gets old enough to apply for college loans, her credit score may be so damaged that she’ll be denied. As most people are aware, the cost of higher education has sky rocketed over the past few years, so prospective college students need all the help they can get. Also, never carry a child’s SSN on one’s person. Other than licensed professionals such as doctors and school officials, no one should need that number, and if a parent carrying the SS cars on their person somehow loses it or has her purse stolen, a thief can go to town and ruin the child’s financial future.

Sadly, the people who commit child identity theft most are parents and family members or trusted friends. Many parents believe that the child’s SSN belongs o them, not the child, until the youngster is in his teens. They use their son’s SSN to open new utility accounts if their original one was shut off due to non-payment. They truly believe that they are just “borrowing” the boy’s data until they can pay off the old bill; sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Close family members and trusted friends also commit this crime. They, too, usually have every intention of being honest and making right the problem that led them to steal a child’s ID. Again, it doesn’t always work out that way.

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