You are probably aware of your own risk of identity theft, and maybe even have taken some precautions to guard your personal and financial data. But what about your children? Identity theft of a minor can go on for years undiscovered. Experts say children represent an emerging market for identity thieves who steal their Social Security numbers knowing that these numbers may not be used for years. Most victims do not even know about it until they are young adults and find their credit rating compromised or are rejected for student loans, jobs, or from renting a place to live.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon conducted a study on child identity theft, and found that 10 percent of children are victims compared with less than 1 percent of adults. They analyzed more than 800,000 records. The clear message imparted at a recent identity theft conference sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is that this fraud has a systemic financial impact, and that we have an ethical, moral, and legal duty to help our children have a future that they can create for themselves. The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs offer tips for ensuring the protection of children against the risks and consequences of identity theft.
What are the warning signs that your child’s credit history may have been compromised?