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Grandchildren and Identity Theft

Mama needs a new car but she doesn't have enough money and her credit is bad. What does she do? She uses her child's social security number to establish herself a new line of credit. Sound far-fetched? Actually, it isn't.

Child identity theft is on the rise and it could affect your grandchild. According to Researcher Richard Power, children make perfect targets because they have no records and the crime usually isn't discovered until they become an adult.

Among the 4,311 children found to have distressed identity records, 300 were under five-years-old years old. Nearly 1,800 cases involved utility service records, such as bogus electricity service accounts. There were also 500 kids’ names attached to mortgages or foreclosures, and 415 of the kids had driver's licenses.

Among the more serious cases: a 16-year-old girl in Arizona with 33 credit accounts linked to her name, including three mortgages.

How does this happen? According to the report, the primary reasons for child identity theft 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.), the report says. And, more often than not, it is someone the child knows.

To learn more about how to protect your child or grandchild from identity theft, read this great article from CreditCards.com: Child ID Theft

Comments

Karen O'Bannon said…
I have heard of this being done before. Although I understand the reasoning, it's very sad to think a parent or grandparent would put their child's future at risk, not to mention that it's illegal.
Beverly said…
I agree with you Karen. Why a parent would even think it would be OK to take their child's identity is beyond me. That shows a total lack of respect and even though there's a child involved, I do believe parents must respect their children on certain levels.
Kathy said…
When I was growing up we didn't get a Social Security number until we started working. I really don't understand why an infant needs a SS#. These types of problems would surely be avoided.
Pam Archer said…
This is shocking to me! I had no idea this was happening. Thank you for the information.

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