Child Identity Theft Awareness Day reminds parents to protect their child’s most important asset
SAN DIEGO, August 29 – This Sunday, September 1, is Child Identity Theft Awareness Day. To mark the observance, the Identity Theft Resource Center has some suggestions for parents on how to protect their child’s most important assets – his/her personally identifiable information (PII). Too often, a child will not know he/she has been a victim of child identity theft until after turning 18-years-old and attempting to establish credit. In recent years, hackers have targeted kids’ PII to take advantage of clean credit that no one will be monitoring for years to come.
According to Javelin Strategy and Research’s 2018 Child Identity Fraud Study, there were more than one million reported cases of child identity theft in the U.S. in 2017, with most cases involving children under eight-years-old.
“Look for the warning signs that someone is using your child’s identity like an adult in the adult world,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “This includes a credit card bill, jury summons, driver’s license renewal, bills for medical care or other purchases; collection calls or notices; and pre-approved credit card offers. Do not assume it is a mistake or clerical error. Do not ignore these red flags. You need to follow up on them right away.”
The same study from Javelin also found that in 60 percent of the cases, the child knew their identity thief. In contrast to adults, where only seven percent of victims knew their identity thief. According to www.ftc.gov/exploredata, so far in 2019, there have been 8,583 identity theft victims 19-years-old or younger, compared to 14,242 in all of 2018. A majority of those cases were employment or tax-related fraud.
Parents can request a credit report to look it over for suspicious activity. If the child is under 14-years-old, the adult must prove they have a right to access and see the information. ITRC also encourages parents to see if their children were affected by the Equifax data breach. If their information was exposed, read this article for steps on how to file a claim for a minor. For more information on how to address a case of child identity theft, visit our website.
If you believe that you, or your child, has been the victim of identity theft, please reach out to the ITRC for no-cost assistance in remediating your case. Consumers in need of help can call the toll-free number – 888.400.5530 – or visit the website www.idtheftcenter.org to Live Chat with an advisor. Live advisors are available Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST except holidays.
ITRC executives will be available for interviews on this topic Friday, August 30, and Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
About the Identity Theft Resource Center®
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org
Identity Theft Resource Center
VP of Communications