Victims of identity theft transcend specific demographics. Anyone can find themselves dealing with serious fraud that impacts financial stability. In spite of evolving and highly cutting-edge technology to stop scammers, many find a way to “financial success” by selectively picking their targets.
Even children with no bank accounts, credit cards, or other forms of finances can become victims of these sinister and highly invasive techniques. The problem only worsens as this form of identity theft is largely unnoticed.
Once they become adults looking to apply for credit cards, find their first apartment, or seek financial aid for college, the stolen credentials have already destroyed credit ratings. Carnegie Mellon University researchers speculate that children are 51 times more likely to be victims of identity theft than adults. Javelin, a research company, cites that one out of 50 or 1.25 million deals with the aftermath of poor or destroyed credit.
Attempting to fix the problem will take longer than identity theft from an adult, resulting in significant costs of close to $400, not accounting for out-of-pocket charges. Even more sinister is the likelihood that child identity theft victims likely have personal or even familial relationships with the perpetrator.
Parents can proactively protect birth certificates, Social Security numbers, and insurance cards as essential identity documents. Also, they should push back on requests for foundational information by activity organizations or after-school care and leave blank spaces where that data would usually go.
For parents, protecting children comes first, whether it’s a school bully or someone they know who is using their information for nefarious purposes.