A new report has revealed that children have their identities stolen 51 times more frequently than adults. Released by AllClear ID, an identity protection service, the report is said to be the first large child identity theft report ever published.
10.2 Percent of Children Have Identities Stolen
The AllClear ID report was authored by Richard Power, a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon CyLab, which is a cyber-security and privacy research center at Carnegie Mellon University.
In it, Power determined that 4,311 of those children (10.2 percent) had someone else already using their Social Security number. This is compared to only 0.2 percent of adults in the same population who had their numbers stolen.
According to the report, children are targeted because of the unique value of their virtually-unused Social Security numbers. It found that identities were stolen for children as young as five months old and those identities are being used to secure employment, open credit card and bank accounts, buy cars and homes and obtain driver’s licenses.
Keeping Kid’s Identities Safe
Since children are significantly more likely to be targeted for identity theft than adults, it’s important to protect them at all costs.
A great way to get this done is making sure to check their credit as frequently as you check your own if they have a Social Security number. This step could help you monitor for suspicious activity and stop it if you find your child’s identity has been compromised.
Colorado is a state that is making its own effort to help by pushing to protect kids in foster care from identity theft where nearly half become victims before leaving the system.
By taking every step possible to ensure your kids’ identities are safe, you increase the odds of protecting them from damaged credit that could prevent them from obtain loans, credit cards or even a home later in life.