July 01, 2011 — Coral Gables — A recent report indicates that children are increasingly at risk of identity theft — and such crimes can go unnoticed for years. Child identity theft occurs when a child’s identity is used by another person for the imposter’s personal gain. The perpetrator may be a family member or someone known by the family. It could also be a stranger who purposely targets children because of the lengthy time between the theft of the information and the discovery of the crime.
“Children make tempting targets because they aren’t going to be using their identities for a long time and parents don’t usually monitor their identities,” wrote Richard Power, author of the report and a member of Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab cybersecurity research center.
Examples of stolen identity cited in the report are startling. In one case, a 17-year-old Arizona girl found herself $725,000 in debt, with 42 open accounts including mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. Her Social Security number was linked to eight suspects. Exposure often comes when attempting to open a savings account or college fund for the child. To read the complete tip, including recommended steps to protect your children, click here.
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