We do not give it much thought, but child identity theft is a growing threat.
According to the FTC, 4%-6% of the identity theft complaints received from 2014 to 2016 involved minors [1A]. At least 1 million children were victimized last year .
Child identity theft occurs when personal data like a child’s date of birth or Social Security number is stolen for the purpose of fraud.
A Shadow Identity
A child’s credit history is unmarred, and likely to go unchecked for years. Because of that, child identity theft may go undetected for an extended period.
During that time, thieves can use the child’s identity just as they would an adult’s. They can obtain driver’s licenses, sign leases, establish utility service, open bank accounts, qualify for credit cards, and purchase vehicles or property – meanwhile racking up debt in the child’s name.
Having developed this “shadow identity”, criminals can then sell and resell the child’s identity. At that point, the process starts all over again. Continue reading