News & Resources

Identity theft common during back-to-school season

Aug 05, 2013 Dave King

Identity theft common during back-to-school season

While identity thieves often target adults who use credit cards, children can also be victimized, especially during the back-to-school months. During this time, kids could be getting their first debit cards or smartphones, both of which could increase their risk of identity theft.

To help thwart this crime, short term lenders should be vigilant in August and September and ensure the proper ID verification procedures are in place to verify that a person taking out a loan is who they say they are.

According to a 2012 study by Javelin Strategy and Research, 2.5 percent of U.S. households with children under the age of 18 went through some sort of child fraud incident.

"It's important to ask why an organization needs your child's full name, date of birth and Social Security number," said Trey Loughran, president of the Personal Solutions unit at Equifax. "This is your child's identity, it's something parents should not give away casually, especially as the incidence of identity theft continues to grow among Americans of all ages."

A couple warning signs of child identity theft include getting collection calls about bills for products that weren't purchased or receiving a notice from the IRS that a child didn't pay income taxes, the Federal Trade Commission Noted.