Why Your Child's Social Security Number May be at Risk

By: Chad Silber Email
By: Chad Silber Email

Add this to your list of parental worries: your child's financial safety.

Just days after they are born, children receive a social security number and immediately become vulnerable to identity theft. If that sounds crazy, consider this: children and adolescents have become the fastest growing sector of identity theft victims.

"Be aware of how your children's personal information is used just like your own information SS number, and date of birth, be aware of how it is being used," said U.S. Postal Inspector Jim Walsh.

In one recent case in Los Angeles, more than 500 elementary school kids had their information compromised. A suspect with access to school files sold the kids' personal information to another suspect.

"There were hundreds of accounts opened and most of the accounts were used to get money," said Walsh.

Suspects withdrew cash advances or would sell the names to make fake college ID's. Investigators say children have clean credit histories which makes them appealing to criminals.

"If they apply for a loan or try to get credit they could find out their credit is basically ruined and wouldn't know it the whole time they are growing up," said Walsh.

Lincoln Police have some valuable advice.

"If you are asked to provide a social security number of your child for any reason, make sure you're asking why it needs to be provided and if it's absolutely essential," said LPD Officer Erin Spilker. "Just remember to run a credit check on your children. Just because they haven't applied for credit, doesn't mean someone else might not have used that number."


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