Children and Teens Make for Easy Identity Theft Targets

March 20, 2009

As parents, we worry a lot about our kids and do whatever we can to protect them. We monitor their friends, what they eat, their health and what they eat, their school, their cell phones – well, this list could be almost endless. Something that may never even cross your mind to protect them from is identity theft.

According to the FTC’s newest report, over 20,000 kids were victims of identity theft in 2008. That number is how many were actual victims and were actually reported. There were probably tens of thousands more who didn’t report the id theft to the FTC or maybe don’t even know they’ve been victimized yet. Identity theft is a huge problem and continues to grow every year.

Why do children and teens make such easy targets for identity thieves? 

First of all, it can go unnoticed for a very long time. You won’t think to check your child’s credit history until they’re applying for college. After, they normally wouldn’t even have anything to report so why even look? 

The first time your teenager applies for a credit card, a cell phone or a student loan is when most people find the problem. What a shock that is.  Your child’s credit history should be a blank slate with nothing negative on it. Now you find out that they’re starting their adult lives already buried in a deep hole. Plus, the burden is on them to prove they are innocent. Even though it seems obvious that a 10 year old didn’t take out a loan to buy an RV, you’d be surprised at just how hard it is to clear their name.

Identity theft protection is critical in this day and age of electronic finances. ‘Safety first’ is our motto as parents, but don’t forget to include credit safety, too.

LifeLock and TrustedID are identity theft protection companies that offer a plan for children.

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