How Parents Are Stealing Their Kids’ Identities And Leaving A Legacy Of Financial Chaos

Source: The Huffington Post

An estimated 500,000 children have had their identities stolen by a parent, according to ID Analytics, which sells identity fraud protection. It is a crime of opportunity, with the culprits having total access to their children’s unused Social Security numbers and the victims unaware they are victims at all.

“Why would a family member do this?” Russell Butler, executive director at the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, said at a July conference on child identity theft. “Well, it’s easy — as easy as taking candy from a baby. Because you have a child, and they don’t even want the candy. They don’t even know they have credit.”

The concern over child identity theft comes as Americans have a greater need for clean sources of credit. Last April, 25 percent of Americans had credit scores of less than 600 — the least-creditworthy category — compared to 15 percent before the recession began, according to data compiled by Deutsche Bank. Therefore, the temptation to hijack a child’s pristine credit may be greater than ever.

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