Adam Levin spoke with Michel Martin from NPR’s Tell Me More about the rise in child identity theft and practical ways that parents can protect their children from this devastating crime. Adam explained that cybercriminals target children because their Social Security Number is pristine. The ultimate betrayal is when the identity thief is your own parent. These cases often go unreported because the child does not want to “rat out” the parent and the victim is often unaware of the crime until years later, when they discover they can’t rent an apartment or apply for a credit card and they are bombarded by debt collectors. Foster children are especially vulnerable because the SS# is printed on their ID card and they move from house to house. Adam advised parents to look for red flags, like receiving credit card applications in the mail under the child’s name. If this occurs, parents should immediately contact the 3 credit reporting agencies to find out if there is a credit report on file, which is the biggest indicator of child identity theft.
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