News & Resources

Identity thieves may strike at the beginning of new school year

Aug 24, 2012 Dave King

When an individual's identity has been stolen, they often are not aware anything has happened until they are denied opening another line of credit or are approached by debt collection agents regarding a fraudulent charge. This occurrence is increasing in frequency, as many criminals are expanding their strategies of accessing personal information. Child identity theft is rapidly becoming a common trend that all should know about . People are stealing the personal information of youngsters, as many parents do not monitor their kids' credit histories nor try to open lines until they are older. Individuals in all industries need to be aware of this tactic, because when a thief uses a child's information to access money, lenders, businesses and the victims can all be greatly affected and shorted out of cash. People concerned as new academic year kicks off The Federal Trade Commission has identified the beginning of a new school year as a time when criminals tend to strike. According to North Carolina's WITN-TV, the organization is warning parents about including personal information on new forms required by schools, like registration, health records and emergency contact files. The source said that parents have to make sure the information included on these forms is being delivered to the right people and that they have a way of protecting the child's identity. WITN also reported businesses and lenders may want to suggest to parents that they be vigilant about materials being sent home that want personal data about the student, as well as who has access to such files when the school sponsors third-party programs that take place on campus, like sporting or musical events. Lenders can do their part as well Often, one of the first places a criminal stops after stealing an individual's identity is a short term lending company. They can use the stolen data to take out fast cash in someone else's name, without being responsible for paying it back. As such, lenders are often the last line of defense before a consumer's credit history is damaged. There are many steps these businesses can take to ensure financial safety for both consumers and their operation, which also stands to lose cash in an identity theft situation. They can adopt policies that makes ID checking more extensive. One of these new regulations could include running borrowers' information through a verification program. There are multiple tools that could be helpful. For example, Microbilt offers the Red Shield Solution that makes it easy for lenders to ensure they are giving money to the right person with a simple pass or fail rating when identification is presented.