Children are the Targets of Identity Thieves

An adult is very much aware of the importance of good credit rating. Credit rating determines the rate of interest of a new loan. It can even determine your chances of getting a job or not.

But most adults do not give much time in monitoring their children’s credit. Because of this, many children have become victims of thieves by using the identities of these children.

One of the victims of an identity theft was Ian Umscheid. He has a credit report which records the following accounts: $5,400 on a credit card from Bank of America; $2,500 from Ally Financial Bank and $4,500 to a jewelry store in California.

According to his father, Simon Umscheid, this happened when Ian was about 6. It showed that he had six or seven accounts with total purchases of about $15,000.This theft began when the family’s health care provider from California lost a computer hard disk drive. Sadly, thousands of dollars had already been racked up before credit monitoring service discovered the suspicious purchases.

Ian said that the computer was stolen and they found his name and used his identity in a card. According to the Federal Trade Commission, more than 19,000 children were victims of stolen identity. They are the best targets because of no debt record.

The children discover that their identities were stolen when they turn 16 or 17. It is at this time that they usually apply for student loan or car loan, according to Atty. Steven Toporoff of Federal Trade Commission. Thieves know that if they get Social Security Number of a child, it would take many years before parents will discover the credit record of their child.

Here are some tips on how to avoid children to become victims of identity theft.

Trey Loughman of Equifax recommends that parents’ should keep safely their child’s social security number. Do not put it in their wallet unless it is needed. Monitor regularly the credit record of their child, Trey further said.

According to D.A. Simon Umscheid , the father of Ian, his home was hit by identity theft despite of his being a district attorney and prosecutor for 12 years. In other words this thing can happen to anybody. Therefore, parents should be very careful in keeping the social security number of their children.

To make it hard for thieves to get or guess the Social Security numbers, the Social Security Administration has made changes in issuing new numbers. Instead of basing it on when and where a child is born, the number is now issued randomly.

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