News & Resources

Scammers use children's IDs for job applications

Mar 29, 2012 Karen Umpierre

According to a recent study from Carnegie Mellon researchers, children are 51 percent more likely to have their identities stolen than adults, CNBC reports. Specifically, in a study of more than 40,000 U.S. children, 10.2 percent had someone else using their Social Security number, compared to a rate of just 0.2 percent for adults. These stats compound the fact that in 2009, 19,000 child identity theft cases were reported, up 217 percent from 2003, according to Federal Trade Commission data quoted by SmartMoney. One of the primary reasons ID thieves target children is because it can take years before a child garners enough credit to be listed on a consumer credit reporting agency's site, making them prime targets for scammers with poor credit. There has been progress made in counteracting this growing trend, however. In Utah, the state's attorney general recently partnered with TransUnion to release a child protection program that lets parents register their kid's personal information on an identity theft website, locking it from harm until the child turns 18.