News & Resources

Identity theft may a growing family concern

Sep 29, 2011 Karen Umpierre

Identity theft is a mounting problem in the U.S. - one that has been augmented by technology trends and innovations that allow for enhanced access to private information. While identity verification processes can drastically help mitigate the threat of identity theft, it is by no means suppressed. More recently, cases of identity theft and manipulation have been popping up within families themselves. A study released this week by ID Analytics found that about 500,000 minors in the U.S. have had their identities stolen by a parent, and two to three million elderly parents are likely victims of identity theft initiated by their adult children. "The realities of familial identity theft are far worse than anything you see in a soap opera," said Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer at ID Analytics. "Most consumers think of this type of manipulation as something inflicted by a stranger or a criminal scamming the system, when in reality a lot of identity manipulation may be a betrayal by a trusted parent, child or another family member." While officials are moving to crack down on both identity theft and identity manipulation, the trend is not expected to subside any time soon.