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New Study Shows: Your Children are at Risk of Identity Theft

Posted by on Apr 10th, 2011 and filed under Feature, Human Interest, Publisher's Message, safety tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Dan Samaria
Publisher/GCC
Apr. 10, 2011

If you are a parent and have children here is something that you must pay attention to.

Your children are at risk to haven’t their Identification stolen. There are people that are using your kid’s s/s to get cars, credit, etc.

Please past this article and link around to everyone you know.

Here is that study:

The Debix Identity Protection Network gave Javelin data on 500 children who were enrolled in their service from July 18, 2008 through September 12, 2008 to research and analyze for their child identity theft study.

The study found that 5% of children, aged 17 and under, had a credit report with their Social Security number. Children should not have credit reports.

At 1 in 20 that is one child in every classroom in the United States that has their credit messed up in some way.

Statistically, 3.8 million children may already be affected by identity theft. Other highlights of the study are:

• Among the 5%, the average amount of debt was $12,779.
• 12% of those with credit problems were aged 5 and under.
• 25% of these victims had bills or lines of credit in collections or foreclosure. 66% of these children had fake or wrong names listed under their SSN.
• 42% of those children with erroneous credit reports only had credit files at one credit bureau, meaning their fraud could have gone unnoticed without checking all three bureaus.

Debix has also released the story of some of these children, with the parent’s permission of course, and they are very interesting.

Gregg White enrolled his 17-year-old daughter along with himself and found she owed $325,000 and that her Social Security number was in use by a criminal for 25 years.

That’s right 25 years; it was being used for 8 years before she was born.

Another child had seven identities under his SSN. One fourteen year old had a credit history spanning 10 years and included credit cards and a foreclosed mortgage.

This point to an important issue regarding child identity theft that the crime can often go undetected resulting in larger losses and a far more difficult time restoring your credit and identity.

Debix helped all these victims restore their identity but many young adults are left to fend for themselves unaware that they were saddled with debt and fraudulent credit activity until they are turned down for their first job or refused their first credit application or student loan.

So what can you do to protect your child from identity theft?

First, you have to realize that they are just as vulnerable as you so you have to be vigilant in your protection of their personally identifying information.

Just a few weeks back a former PTA president in California was convicted of identity theft and sentenced to three years in prison.

Her victims, 57 people, included her neighbors, her dead mother and a 6-year-old girl. Trust no one, not even family. Question those who require your child’s SSN. Do they really need it? How do they protect it?

Talk to your child about keeping their personal information private especially online. Shred any identifying information.

Second, write to the credit bureaus using certified mail to see if your child has a credit report or if there are any public records using your child’s SSN.

If your child has a credit report you know their is a problem and will unfortunately spend many hours researching, filing paperwork, and making phone calls to restore your child’s identity.

Third, your family’s private information at home, both physical and electronic, should be locked up.

This means password protecting your computer and using a safe or locking file cabinet. Someone known to the victim often commits Child identity theft.

The other option, and a much better one in our opinion, is to use an identity theft protection service such as Debix to protect their identities.

Debix will monitor your child’s SSN to make sure it isn’t used fraudulently.

They routinely search thousands of available public databases, including all three national credit bureaus, criminal and bankruptcy records, utility service records and others, to determine if someone is using your child’s SSN.

They will also include identity theft insurance and restoration services in the event they do become a victim.

With Debix you can even sign up your child even though you are not enrolled. Debix costs $24 per year per adult and $20 per year per child.

Get the peace of mind you deserve, protect yourself and your children today.

Source: Identity Theft Labs

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