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Children’s Identity Theft On The Rise

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2011 | Consumer Protection

Why are children’s identity being stolen?

First, identity from children is easier to abuse than adults. There are no guardrails or routine checkups for children’s credit. Thieves can build entire credit histories that go undetected for years.

Second, a child’s credit report is like a blank slate. There is no good or bad credit attached to a child’s credit report.

Third, it is easier to sponge off of a child’s credit report than an adult. Since there is nothing to match a new credit profile against, it is easier for thieves to take a child’s social security number and mix it with another name and birthdate. If you use an adult’s social security number to open a line of credit, the identifiable information must match entries in the adult’s social security information which is more difficult.

Who are the offenders in this identity theft? There are organized rings, illegal immigrants, and in lower-income households, other family member

One major problem with children’s credit report is that there is nothing to match a new credit profile against. This makes children’s identity susceptible to fraud. The Social Security Administration does not have a role in resolving identity theft. They will correct discrepancies. The Social Security Number was originally designed to track income and provide a record for benefits. Now the role has expanded and has become the basis for basis of applying for jobs, credit cards, loans, and schools.

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Larry SmithConsumer Rights Attorney at SmithMarco, P.C.Larry P. Smith is a consumer attorney and the founder and Managing Partner at SmithMarco, P.C. He has tried dozens of consumer rights cases to verdict and has arbitrated over 700 cases. Additionally, he has amicably resolved over 3,000 consumer fraud, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases via settlement. Mr. Smith has been a guest on multiple radio outlets including WLS and WGN in Chicago providing consumer advice. Mr. Smith also provides leadership and delivers lectures to the National Association of Consumer Advocates, The National Consumer Law Center, and the Chicago Bar Association. Latest posts by Larry Smith (see all)