Identity theft is nothing new in this age of technology. Most adults are aware of the dangers of a lost or stolen credit card, data breaches for online retailers, or the importance of limiting shares of your social security card, but identity theft has a new target: kids.
This may seem like a rare occurrence and not something parents should be overly worried about, but according to a report from Carnegie Melon, more than one in ten children are victims of identity theft before age 18.
Why Are Kids Being Targeted?
Experts are referring to this spike in fraud as “synthetic” identity theft where criminals are targeting kids because their credit is essentially a clean slate. They use a child’s social security number paired with a different birth date, name and address to create a new identity.
Parents use their child’s social security number for a range of applications (including school forms, sporting events,