I was shocked to learn that more than 1 million children were victims of identity theft or fraud last year. According to the Federal Trade Commission, two-thirds of those victims were age 7 or younger. As soon as your child is assigned a social security number, he is at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, and most parents never even check their children’s credit history, so the crime goes unnoticed for years. Generally, parents don’t think that children’s identities might be stolen because they have no credit history. Kids don’t use credit cards, so what’s to check? It turns out, it has never been more important to be on top of this issue. Every day, more and more children’s social security numbers are sold on the dark web, and sixty percent of child victims personally know the perpetrator.
A child’s social security number is usually used to create what has become known as a synthetic identity. The SSN thief takes the child’s unblemished number and creates a new identity with a different name, birthdate, address and phone number to start a new and phony credit file. The thief can then open credit cards and use them to establish a good credit history, which allows him to then take out loans that they never intend to pay back.
Adults of all ages are also at risk. Younger people report more instances of identity fraud, but people age 70 and older report greater losses due to this kind of crime. Those with active social media presence have a 30 percent higher risk of becoming fraud victims due to increased exposure.
From the very young, to the very elderly, we are all at risk, but we can take steps to minimize the risk by utilizing services designed to protect us. Identron has a variety of plans designed to protect and insure individuals and families against identity fraud. It’s important to take steps to protect ourselves before it’s too late and the damage has been done.
This is a post sponsored by Identron.