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The perfect crime: Stealing a child's identity

Published: Friday, Aug. 10 2012 12:10 p.m. MDT

An article in the Deseret News tells how to check if your child has a credit report: "All three credit reporting agencies have automated systems for requesting credit reports. A semiannual phone call is a good way to check whether a credit account has been activated for a child. Call Equifax at 800-685-1111, Experian at 888-397-3742 and TransUnion at 800-916-8800."

Utah has a program to fight against child identity theft called the Child Identity Protection program. Its website is cip.utah.gov.

NPR describes what the Utah program does: "The Utah attorney general's office is now piloting an online child identity protection service. It allows parents to register their children, free of charge, for protection through the credit rating agency TransUnion. So far, about 4,000 children have been enrolled since the program was introduced in January."

The Federal Trade Commission also has information online about children's privacy at www.ftc.gov.

And just because children grow older, doesn't mean they grow wiser. Believe it or not, some young adults post photos of themselves online holding their new credit card, "Look what I got!" Identity thieves are, no doubt, more than glad to look at the card's numbers clearly visible in the photos.

Security Watch quotes Brian McGinley, senior vice-president of data risk management at Identity Theft 911: "Something so blatantly obvious as posting your credit or debit card number just speaks to the lack of awareness of what consumers think criminals can do with a set of numbers."

EMAIL:mdegroote@desnews.com

TWITTER:@degroote

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