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Protect Your Child from Identity Theft

Digital Citizens, Thursday, February 7, 2013

Identity Theft

Do you know how easy it is for criminals to steal your child’s identity? A full name and birth date is all they need to use your child’s identity to commit a variety of financial crimes and other fraud.

Robert Chappell, Jr., a fraud expert and former law enforcement professional, has written a book called Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to KnowUS News and World Report has an interview with him where he explains the common ways children’s identity is stolen and how parents can protect children from this type of criminal activity.

In the interview, he explains why children are such attractive targets: “A child has clean credit in the eyes of the credit-issuing industry. Within the three major credit bureaus, it is widely publicized that there is no date-of-birth verification, so children have credit they've never used before. Credit card lenders are more likely to give a card to someone with no credit history than bad credit history.”

According to reports from AllClear ID and Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab cyber security research center, 1 in 10 children are victims of identity theft.  Children are also significantly more likely to be victims than adults – the rate of identity theft is 35–51 times higher for children than it is for adults, and criminals are targeting children at a higher rate each year.  The AllClearID report shows a 105% increase in the percentage of victims under the age of 5 since 2011.

For more information about how to protect your child from identity theft, click here.

US News also has a great list of 6 things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft. Read more.

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