Identity theft is a rapidly growing crime that affects over 9 million people a year, a portion of whom are children. The incidence of kids’ identity theft has doubled for the under age 5 group in the past year, and children are targeted for this felony 35 times more frequently than adults. The following will shed some light on the ever-increasing problem of child identity theft and will offer some ideas about how to prevent it.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/05/2012 -- The Child Identity Theft Report of 2012 indicates that 10.7% of children scanned by their surveyors have already been affected by identity thieves. The damage a thief can do to a child’s future is immeasurable. As the child approaches college age, for example, she may not be able to qualify for student loans, school scholarships, internships, and credit cards. There are ways to prevent identity theft for children, and what follows is a listing of some of them.
Know more Ways to Protect Your Kids Against Identity Theft
The first rule of preventing kids’ identity theft is to never, ever give anyone a child’s Social Security number (SSN), not even trusted family members and friends. Most child identity theft is committed by these people, not intentionally, usually, but to get out of financial difficulty. An ID thief can use a child’s SSN to open up utilities accounts, purchase automobiles, and take out loans in that child’s name. This destroys the kid’s credit before she is even old enough to have credit! The worst part of this situation is that often, theft of a child’s identity is not noticed until years have passed and the young adult tries to obtain a charge card. Then all sorts of flags come up on her credit report and she has to fight to save her future.
Several companies offer identity theft protection for kids, and the best way to access them is via the Internet. Just be sure that the company’s reputation is solid, and that client testimonials are positive Avoid being scammed by fraudulent ID theft protection businesses. If a customer representative contacts a person and requests their date of birth, SSN, or a credit card number but provides no service, that person should not deal with that company. Not all identity theft services are bad; in fact, most of them are above-board and can be very effective. Just do some research and use good sense before choosing one and all will be well. Also, parents can prevent child ID theft by keeping the child’s SSN in a safe place, apart from a wallet or purse. Lock the SSN in a hidden safe in the home or in a safety deposit box.
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