Jamie here, AllClear ID Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Investigator. Today we released our much-anticipated Child Identity theft for 2012. In that research, we found some alarming trends:
10.7% of children were victims of identity theft: consistent with our findings from last year, one in ten children were victims. This means that in your child’s classroom, there are likely two or three victims of child identity theft.
1) Children are 35 times more likely to be victims of identity theft than adults: Child ID theft is much more prevalent than adult ID theft, and often times goes unnoticed.
2) The rate of young victims doubled: The percentage of victims under the age of 5 increased by 105%. This means we find that the younger the child, the better, because it gives the thief more time to use the ID unsuspected. This means more time for them to tap into college funds, credit scores, and unused Social Security Numbers.
3) Over $1,000,000 in fraud was reported by one victim. Her Social Security number had been fraudulently used since she was 9, with open accounts.
What could this mean for your child? As your little one says her first words, starts his first day of school, and applies for college, a thief could be talking on a new cell phone, starting a new line of credit, and applying for a mortgage – all using your child’s Social Security Number.
To best protect your little ones, don’t write down their newly-minted Social Security card number anywhere, but lock it in a safe place to keep from peering eyes and unwanted attention.