Why Children Are Vulnerable to Identity Theft
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Robert Ryerson of New Century Planning possesses more than 25 years of experience in estate management and retirement planning. Additionally, Robert Ryerson is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) and author of the book What’s the Deal with Identity Theft: A Plain English Look at Our Fastest Growing Crime.
In 2017, more than a million children, two-thirds under the age of 8, were victims of identity theft or fraud, resulting in losses of more than $2.67 billion. Because a child’s Social Security number has not been used before, it is more valuable to criminals.
When a bank uses the child’s Social Security number to pull a credit report, nothing suspicious appears, so criminals can use the number freely. Typical warning signs of a child’s identity being used fraudulently include the child receiving pre-approved credit card offers or jury summons in the mail. In the event of suspicious activity, parents can place a freeze on the child’s credit report to prevent the opening of new credit accounts.