I say this time and time again, and I gan't stress this enough - you need to defend against identity theft not only for yourself, but for your children as well.
NEW YORK (AP) — They might not be old enough to swipe a credit card or take out a loan, but you still need to keep an eye on your little one’s credit.
Kids can be victims of identity theft, too, and it often goes unnoticed by parents for years. Typically, a youngster doesn’t find out something is wrong with their credit until they grow up and get rejected for a student loan or isn’t able to get a credit card. That’s why experts say more parents should monitor their child’s credit to fix issues early.
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“By the time the kid finds out, their credit has already been massacred,” says Adam Levin, founder of identity theft recovery service IDT911
“By the time the kid finds out, their credit has already been massacred,” says Adam Levin, founder of identity theft recovery service IDT911 and author of “Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.”
All thieves need to obtain a fraudulent credit card or other loan is a child’s Social Security number, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center , a non-profit that helps identity theft victims. Often, thieves will use a different name and birthday when opening the accounts, she says.
Crooks like to target children because they know they can get away with it longer and open several accounts.
“It’s very lucrative,” says Velasquez.
HOW COMMON IS CHILD IDENTITY THEFT?
Putting a number on just how many minors are identity theft victims is tough, since experts say many of the crimes are unreported or not known about until years later. The Federal Trade Commission says of the more than 410,000 identity theft complaints made last year, about 5 percent were for those 19 and under , the same rate as in 2014.
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