Identity Theft: Even Your Child Is Not Safe Any More
Surprisingly, identity theft has begun to take a whole new turn with identity thieves not even sparing children. The new method being employed by identity thieves is to impersonate a child in order to gain financial rewards. Often, the perpetrator is a member of the family; or, it could be a complete stranger, egged on no doubt by the fact that it will take considerable time before such form of identity theft will be discovered. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission the cases of identity theft have tripled in the previous three years – jumping from eight thousand five hundred in 2003 to twenty-six thousand in the year 2006.
The fact of the matter is that child identity theft is easy pickings for identity thieves because children will not easily find out that their identities have been stolen and often only find out once they have applied for admission to a college, asked for credit or sought employment. Furthermore, child identity theft often also occurs when a family splits up (such as through divorce) when one parent may stoop as low as to steal the identity of his or her child.
Child identity theft is also often discovered when the parent is opening a savings account in the name of their child; or when many pre-approved credit offers begin to come pouring in through the mail with the child’s name on them; or, it could even be discovered when checks, credit cards, bank statements or invoices come to your home with your child’s name on them.
It is also possible to discover identity theft when the child gets their application for a driving license turned down because of the fact that somebody else already has a driving license bearing the social security number of the child.
However, certain instances may look like they are child identity theft cases; but, are not. Sometimes, companies might innocently send out pre-approved credit card offers and these are not to be mistaken for child identity theft. You can check with major credit bureaus such as Equifax, Trans Union or Experian; in case they advise that no credit report exists in your child’s name; it would then mean that your child’s identity has not been compromised.
It also pays to learn more about identity theft protection – especially, because each year as many as ten million Americans have reported having had their identity stolen from them. In case you are sure that your child has become a victim of identity theft it is best if you immediately make contact with the police and get the law enforcements started on the heels of the perpetrators. A police complaint is the necessary first step leading to investigation and correction of all manner of identity theft – including that of your child.