Archive for the ‘Child Identity Theft’ Category

Your children may not have bank accounts, credit cards or bills in their name, but they're still ideal targets for identity thieves. Because few parents expect , criminals can use a child's personal information for years before they're detected. In the worst cases, it's not discovered until children begin making financial decisions as adults and find their credit in shambles.

The good news is there are things you can do to protect your kids' identity:

* Guard your children's Social Security numbers closely. Adults have bank account information, credit card numbers and other "grown-up" information that's vulnerable to thieves. Most kids don't, but they do have Social Security numbers, which is the No. 1 thing identity thieves will be looking for. Never carry your children's Social Security cards with you, and only give out their numbers when absolutely necessary.
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A 2011 law passed in Colorado extended significant protection to many kids in the state’s foster care system, but now one state Senator wants to expand its reach.

Earlier this month, that would expand the law to cover not only kids in the state’s foster care program, but also those who are in the custody of the state’s Division of Youth Corrections, and mental hospitals, according to a report from the Centennial Citizen. Anecdotally, many who have participated in the system have told stories of having their Social Security number compromised to obtain credit, and typically these incidents take years to discover because in many cases, when kids are affected, they have no reason to suspect there’s outstanding credit in their names until they turn 18 at the earliest.

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While many consumers across the country are now very concerned about the effects that might have on their financial standing, new data shows that in many cases, they should keep a similarly close eye on their kids’ situation as well.

Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University Cylab recently found that kids are at 51 times the risk of being targeted by identity thieves as adults, which can be particularly troubling for all involved, according to a report from the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. The reason identity theft attacks that target kids can be more problematic is that it can takes years or even decades for the victim to find out the crime has taken place.

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College is a time for kids to try on different identities and see how they fit. But as parents, it’s our job to make sure their true identity doesn’t get stolen by thieves.

Students are increasingly vulnerable to identity theft. Attacks against victims 19 years old and younger accounted for 9 percent of identity theft complaints in 2011, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Data Book. And victims between the ages of 20 and 29 represented 23 percent of all complaints for the same period.

“They’re naïve, distracted, and often living in communal settings where others can access their computer, smartphone, mail and more,” warns Adam Levin, cofounder and chairman of IDentity Theft 911 and Credit.com.

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McKayla Maroney. Missy Franklin. Kirani James. These Olympic gold medalists have inspired us with their athleticism and poise—on the floor, in the pool or around the track. When you watch them perform with equal grace in media interviews, it’s hard to believe they’re just kids.

Until they remind us, that is. Maroney’s many facial expressions—including a podium pout after winning silver instead of gold on the vault—have earned her Internet stardom in multiple memes. Franklin, a big fan of Justin Bieber, reacted with giddy delight after receiving props on Twitter from the pop idol himself: “I just died! Thank you!”

Meanwhile, their fellow Olympians, even those who are older and more experienced, are channeling their inner teenager with “poor judgment” and “small acts of impropriety,” noted the . First there was the expulsion of the American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo after a drug test showed traces of marijuana in his system. (He claims to have unwittingly eaten a pot-laced treat before the games.) Then swimmer Ryan Lochte admitted to urinating in the pool during race warm-ups. And how could we not notice when the North Korea women’s soccer team threw a tantrum by refusing to take the field for 40 minutes because South Korea’s flag was accidentally placed on the stadium scoreboard?

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Foster kids who are about to leave the system and jump into the financial perils of adulthood will have an extra layer of protection against identity theft, thanks to a new law in Delaware.

I couldn’t be more excited about this new law, which will require the state’s Children’s Department to run credit reports for children in foster care when they turn 16 and help them learn more about credit and how it affects their future stability.

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Children are not supposed to have a credit report in their name, but new studies have found that the number of those who do is growing considerably, which can pose major problems for affected kids.

People under the age of 18 who have a credit report in their name are almost certainly the victims of , and this is a large and growing problem nationwide, according to a report from the . Some studies have found that large amounts of kids have been a0ffected by identity theft, in which the crooks open large amounts of credit in their name and steal tens of thousands of dollars or more, and leave their young victims to carry the blame.

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The Federal Trade Commission slapped Saint Nick with a $2 million fine for violating children’s privacy with his naughty or nice list.

For nearly 2,000 years, the jolly old elf tracked children’s consumer behavior; stored their name, age and address on an unsecured database; and shared the information with third parties to fulfill the children’s Christmas wishes.

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By Matt Cullina,

Kids practically live online these days, and they spend a lot of their time playing games on Facebook and their smartphones.

So I’m heartened to see the Federal Trade Commission that mobile applications must conform to federal children’s privacy regulations.

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By Matt Cullina,

Parents of gamers have likely caught wind of the hype surrounding two fall arrivals: Battlefield 3 (released Oct. 25) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (out Nov. 8). These so-called shooter games are the latest installments to two established and—in the case of Call of Duty, wildly successful—video game series. that MW3 would sell 16 million copies and Battlefield 8 million copies by year-end.
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