USA   |   UK   |   Australia   |   Canada
ADVERTISEMENT

Child identity theft rising quickly, report says

By

According to an identity protection company based in Austin, Texas, child identity theft is on the rise and moving fast. Very fast.

AllClear ID released its 2012 Child Identity Theft Report, which showed that a disturbing 10.7 percent of the children in the study were victims of ID theft -- 35 times higher than adults.

The age group with the fastest growth rate of identity theft is children 5 and under. The number of children in this age group who became victims of ID theft grew 105 percent since 2011. Children between the ages of 6 and 10 accounted for 26 percent of the victims.

Child identity theft rising quickly

The report, which is based on research into data provided by the company's customers (not a survey), explains why children are such easy targets for identity thieves. Because they have not yet used (and thus potentially tarnished) their credit in any way, children's identities are blank slates for thieves. With a child's Social Security number, a criminal could likely continue fraud for years without it ever being noticed -- until the child gets older and attempts to start building a credit history of their own.

The AllClear ID study examined inquiries regarding nearly 27,000 children -- some with frightening tales. One child from the study had six suspects using her Social Security number. Another had a total of $1.5 million in fraud against her by the time she was 19. Her SSN had been used since she was 9.

"It's important for parents to understand the child ID heft is a real and growing trend," says AllClear ID CEO Bo Holland. "Rather than letting this trend continue, consumers -- parents especially -- should take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their child's livelihood. "

Here are some of the steps for parents to take suggested in the release:

Methodology
The report, Child Identity Theft 2012, is based on extensive database scans of accounts (credit, utilities, employment, etc.) opened by real companies using children's Social Security numbers. Scans on 26,989 children were performed between Sept. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2011. The participants were enrolled in AllClear ID protection either after receiving notification that their personal information may have been compromised during a data breach or after enrolling in protection services on their own.

  

Published: May 13, 2012



Join the discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Three most recent Research, statistics stories:

Share This Story




Follow Us!


Credit Card Rate Report

Updated: 10-24-2014

National Average 15.07%
Low Interest 10.37%
Business 12.80%
Balance Transfer 12.82%
Student 13.14%
Cash Back 14.98%
Reward 15.05%
Airline 15.46%
Bad Credit 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00%

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT