Many adult Americans understand the value of monitoring their financial, credit, and online activity for identity theft. With fraudulent online activity on the rise, more and more people in the United States are taking proactive steps to protect themselves against attacks from cyber criminals. However, a lesser-known threat is identity theft against children.
How does child identity theft happen?
In 2021, 1.25 million victims of identity theft and fraud were children, with each case costing an average of about $1,110 to resolve. Since the credit scores of children are checked much less frequently than those of adults, children are considered easy targets for cyber criminals because the theft can remain undetected for a longer period of time.
Children may also inadvertently share their personal information, such as birthdates, addresses, and phone numbers, on their social media channels and other places around the internet. This can make it even easier for hackers to obtain that information and commit identity theft.
Why are children at risk?
A child’s credit score is usually checked for the first time when they turn 18 years old, as they begin to make more adult decisions such as opening a checking account, applying for a job, or building credit.
The time leading up to a child’s 18th birthday can leave them open to the threat of identity theft if the appropriate safety measures are not put into place. This is why it’s crucial for consumers with children to extend their own identity protection to their kids.
How can consumers protect children from identity theft?
Child identity monitoring services can provide alerts of potential theft to parents and help safeguard their children’s identity and credit. These services can include social media, dark web, and social security number monitoring to ensure that children’s personal information is protected and secure across multiple areas of the internet.
If a child’s identity is stolen, child monitoring services can also extend to identity theft insurance and identity restoration to help parents recover their child’s identity and minimize the damage.
By implementing a child monitoring service, parents can protect the identities of their loved ones and resolve any threats of potential theft as quickly as possible.
Yahoo.com. 2021. Child Identity Fraud Costs Nearly $1 Billion Annually, According to a New Study From Javelin Strategy & Research. https://www.yahoo.com/now/child-identity-fraud-costs-nearly-131000502.html