Child ID breaches rampant, usually caused by a familiar face
In most cases, a family member or friend steals the child's personal data
Data whiz and visual storyteller
If you’ve ever been a victim of identity fraud, the thief was almost surely a stranger to you. But not so for children, as 6 in 10 victims last year had their identity stolen by someone they knew.
The finding comes from a new study by Javelin Strategy & Research, which quantifies that more than 1 million U.S. children were affected by identity fraud in 2017, representing almost 1.5 percent of American minors. Two-thirds of the child victims (66 percent) were age 7 or younger.
“Child identity fraud is a serious problem and is frequently overlooked as the public focuses on high-profile breaches involving the personally identifiable information of adults,” said Al Pascual, a senior vice president at Javelin Strategy & Research.
In sharp contrast to adults, child identity theft victims knew their perpetrator 60 percent of the time. For adults, familiarity with the thief accounted for only 7 percent of 2017’s incidents.
As for who these familiar fraudsters are, family friends were implicated in one-third of the child identity thefts by a known perpetrator (33 percent). Coming in at 18 percent was a child's parent or a parent's spouse.
Across the U.S., 11 percent of households had at least one minor’s personal information compromised in a data breach in 2017, with almost 4 in 10 (39 percent) later becoming victims of fraud.
Javelin’s 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study drew on an online survey of 5,000 individuals, fielded in August and September 2017. Respondents either currently lived in a household with a dependent minor, or had lived with a dependent minor in the past six years. Results of the study were released April 24, 2018.
- Those with financial plans make other smart money moves – If you write down a financial plan, you're much more likely to have an emergency fund and pay off your credit card bills monthly, Charles Schwab research shows ...
- Credit card losses from synthetic identity fraud jump – Synthetic identity fraud, in which thieves create identities for bogus people, is increasing, Aite Group finds. And losses from the fraud are expected to rise another 53 percent by 2020 ...
- Millennials most likely to carry card balances, survey says – A generational survey of credit card debt finds that grandma probably doesn't carry a balance, but Junior does ...