September 14, 2015
Back-to-school is always a busy and exciting time... especially for identity thieves.
Child identity theft is on the rise. Enrolling children in school, signing them up for after-school clubs, and often giving teens their first debit card when they start secondary school can put their identities at risk.
One US study found that at least 2.5% of households with children under the age of 18 (1 in 40 households) had experienced some kind of identity fraud at some point during their child’s lifetime. However, the numbers are likely to be higher because child identity theft in many cases is under-reported. Often the theft is discovered only when the child has grown up and applies for credit as a young adult.
According to Equifax, there are two categories of child identity thief; unknown perpetrators and more surprisingly, family members. “A reality of child identity theft is the fact that parents or family members of a child have been found to use the child’s identifying information, often in times of desperation. Be it job loss or mounting debt, they are compelled to take advantage of their child’s “clean” credit history.”
Here are some tips on how to protect your family from child identity fraud:
Learn more about identity theft and how your child’s school can also help to protect their data.