Identity theft has been an increasing problem for many Americans who were cruising along naively thinking their financial lives were safe and secure. The media coverage of this intrusion brought awareness of this issue and as a result more people began to monitor their credit history, activity and ratings. The newest target of this problem affects the most unaware – small children.
In a recent report, NBC investigated this latest phenomenon and confronted perpetrators who borrowed money for houses, automobiles and credit cards after stealing the Social Security numbers of our youngest citizens. The cunning thieves unraveled the code in which Social Security numbers are issued and used the numbers of innocent children to obtain loans and credit lines at financial institutions and department stores.
For the con anything goes, including stealing the identity of a child! There are children all over
who now have bad credit. It is a huge nightmare for parents to straighten out, if in fact they even know there is a problem. I haven’t personally experienced the intrusion but as a banker I saw numerous times the challenges identity theft incurs and the years it can take to clean up. America
Advice to parents to protect children is to get free credit reports of their children’s Social Security numbers. The NBC report noted that The Social Security Administration is changing the way in which numbers are distributed. Creditors are requiring more proof if identification. It is just one of many problems parents face in this uncertain world, but one we can and must do something about.