Facts to Know about Child Identity Theft

Babies can be victims of identity theft, a fact that parents do not realize. It is even more likely to happen than identity theft in adults. A recent report of Carnegie Mellon Cylab says that social security numbers that have never been used are highly valuable because thieves can use them with any date of birth and name.

The numbers that have been stolen are then utilized for purposes of illegal immigration and organized crime. The report further adds that the SS numbers of minors are so useful because there is no organized process at the moment that can check the name and date of birth of the original owner of the number. This means that for as long as the number has a clear history, any thief can attach a name and birth date to it. Once there is a violation, it can go unnoticed. Even credit reporting bureaus cannot detect it. For parents to be on guard about the possibility of their child’s Social Security number being stolen here are some important facts to know.


Scanned image of author's US Social Security card.

Image via Wikipedia


1.) Children and adults are equally at risk of identity theft.

2.) As a parent, you should check your child’s Social Security number as early and as often as you can. Take note that the longer the theft uses your child’s number, the more complex the case becomes and the more difficult it is to resolve. If you wait for your child to get older before checking her number and you find out that your child is a victim of identity theft, your child may have a difficult time getting a job, renting an apartment or even obtaining a mobile phone plan.

3.) A child’s credit record is not cleaned up by the time they turn 18. This means that if a child grows up and is ready to use his Social Security to apply for accounts and for a credit check, he will still be held accountable for any debt and account linked to his number whether he incurred the account or not.

4.) Pre-approved offers for your child in the mail are possible signs of identity theft. Once you receive this, immediately investigate and do not disregard the situation.

5.) Family and friends as well as criminals are the most common perpetrators of identity theft. They use this for themselves or sell the numbers to the black market.

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