Identity thieves target children 35 times more than adults

Published: Monday, June 18 2012 12:03 p.m. MDT

Identity thieves targeted children 35 times more than adults, and 15 percent of the victims are under the age of 5, according to AllClear ID.

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Identity thieves are now targeting children, according to Fox Business.

Scammers targeted children 35 times more than adults, and 15 percent of the victims were under the age of 5, according to AllClear ID. Stealing a child's identity is much more desirable than taking an adult's because it's easier and more of a clean slate.

"With children, it's the crime of opportunity and is often committed by someone in the family or close to the family," Ken Chaplin, senior vice president at Experian's ProtectMyID, told Fox Business.

These crimes usually aren't discovered until victims turn 18 and they apply for a loan and discover they have a credit history, according to the article.

All that's required to steal a child's identity are the parents' names, birthday, addresses and a Social Security number. Children are issued Social Security numbers at birth so parents can claim them as dependents on tax returns. If parents aren't careful with such information, thieves can obtain it to steal children's identities, Chaplin told Fox Business.

The article shares a list of ways parents can guard against this kind of theft, as well as "red flags" to look for if the identity has already been used.

EMAIL: bbullock@desnews.com

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