News & Resources

Child identity theft is on the rise

Apr 15, 2011 Brian Bradley

According to CBS 19, child identity theft is on the rise. Loans, credit cards and drivers' licenses can be set up using children's names, and the damage to victims' credit ratings is often not discovered for a long time. "Unfortunately, with the child identity thefts, they're not reported until years later," Sergeant Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department told the news source. "When the kid goes to college, when he needs to buy a home - then, it's discovered." A report by Carnegie Mellon CyLab found that of the 42,000 children whose identities it scanned between 2009 and 2010, a total of 4,300 had their social security numbers used by other people. Three-quarters of the instances were fraud, and the remaining cases were the result of incorrect credit information being entered. More than 10 percent of children have been victims of identity theft in some capacity - a rate that is 51 times higher than the 0.2 percent rate for adults, according to WTOP News. The effects of child identity theft can follow a victim throughout his or her teenage and adult years, and now that an increasing number of employers are running credit checks as part of the hiring process, they could even affect job prospects.