Children are 51 times more likely to suffer identity theft than adults

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 2:12 p.m. MDT

"Identity theft is not just for adults," said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff during a press conference at Sugarhouse Park on Friday July 15, 2005.

Stephen Holt, Deseret News

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Out of 42,232 children whose financial histories were scanned, 10.2 percent reflected fraudulent social security number use, 51 times the amount adult identities were attacked, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University.

Seventy percent of the identity theft attacks towards children were with loan and credit accounts, while utility bills accounted for 18 percent. Drivers' licenses only account for 4 percent of identity fraud instances against children in the study.

Children’s Social Security numbers are valuable because there is no process to check the name a birth date attached to it. A SSN with a blank history can have any name connected to it, according to CMU.

Credit bureau Transunion teamed up with identity theft protection company AllClear ID to create a free utility that allows parents to verify the status of their child’s identity, according to U.S. News.

Checking the mail for you child’s name and educating children about keeping their information private online are some suggestions offered in the study to keep a child’s identity safe.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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