Children are being targeted by identity thieves 35 times more often than adults, reports Fox Business. Fifteen percent of the victims are under the age of five.
A Social Security number, birthday, address, and parents’ names are all it takes to create a fraudulent identity.
“With children, it’s the crime of opportunity and is often committed by someone in the family or close to the family,” says the senior vice president at Experian’s ProtectMyID.
At birth, children are issued Social Security numbers so that their parents can claim them on tax returns.
The identity thief is usually not noticed until the child reaches 18 and applies for a student loan or car loan. Then they discover that they already have a credit file.
These are the red flags to watch out for and to help parents know that their child’s identity may have been compromised:
(1) Receiving credit card solicitations addressed to your child are a big sign that there has been some activity in your child’s name.
(2) Collection agencies start calling and asking for your child or for someone who has the same last four digits as your child’s Social Security number.
(3) IRS notifies you that someone else has used your child’s Social Security number.
Only you can help protect your child’s identity.
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