Even children face identity theft risks
Each year, 500,000 people under age 18 fall victim to identity theft. Children make easy targets since they have pristine credit files and no reason to check their credit reports for years.
Sixteen-year-old Monica got turned down flat for her driver’s license. Not because she blew through a stop sign on her driver’s test. And not because she flunked the written exam. Monica couldn’t get her driver’s license because someone else had already had one issued using her Social Security number.
ID crooks latch on to aspects of a child’s identity for all sorts of reasons: to obtain employment illegally, open bogus credit accounts, or filch medical services using a child’s insurance. The thief's misdeeds, ranging from traffic tickets to credit defaults to criminal activity, can haunt a child for years, scuttling his or her shot at college admissions, scholarships, student loans, and employment.