2011 Featured Report: Carnegie Mellon University CyLab Child ID Theft Report

Your child may be 50 times more likely to have

his or her identity stolen than you.

The largest child ID theft report ever conducted showed 10.2% of children in the report had their Social Security number used by someone else.

The number of affected children was 51 times higher than the 0.2% adult identity theft rate observed in the same population.

This surprising and alarming percentage of children affected shows that while parents

are concerned about protecting their children from online predators and cyber-bullies, the need to protect them from identity theft is also critical.

Child Identity Theft is a Carnegie Mellon CyLab report conducted among a group of 42,232 children, whose identities were scanned during a one-year period from 2009 to 2010. Download Report

Is your child a victim of identity theft? Find out for free.



Of this group, 4,311 children had Social Security numbers that were used by other people.

76% of the cases involved malicious fraud – deliberate and intentional criminal activity. 24% were cases of mixed credit file information.

Child IDs were used to purchase homes and automobiles, open credit card accounts, secure employment and obtain driver’s licenses.

Here’s why the report findings are so important:

  1. Children are easy targets – their identities are often a blank slate.

  2. The probability of discovery is low – parents typically don’t monitor a child’s identity and the crime can go undiscovered for many years.

  3. The potential impact on a child’s future is profound – a stolen identity can destroy or damage a child’s ability to get a student loan, acquire a mobile phone, obtain a job, secure a place to live and more.

  4. The primary drivers for such attacks are illegal immigration (e.g., to obtain false IDs for employment), organized crime (e.g., to engage in financial fraud) and friends and family (e.g., to circumvent bad credit ratings, etc.).

View the complete report and find out what you can do to protect your children.