Identity theft is already a rampant crime that is not only difficult to prosecute, but difficult to recover from, as well. What’s worse is that thieves are finding ways to steal from the people you love the most…your children.
Online businesses are finding ways to get a hold of Social Security numbers, especially those belonging to children, due to the fact that kids don’t really need to use their Social until they are much older. This form of theft is also beneficial for crooks because parents may not know the damage that was done until it’s too far too late.
The crime works like this: The online business obtains the number and will then sell it under a different name. Then, the buyer of the number usually uses it to create a fake credit profile for themselves and eventually build immense amounts of debt. In the end, the scheme not only hurts your child and their future, it creates a whole new problem for the nation’s credit system.
“If people are obtaining enough credit by fraud, we’re back to another financial collapse,” according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney of Kansas City, Linda Marshall.
Another difficulty with this form of theft is that the numbers aren’t directly identified as Social Security numbers when the thieves are using them. Instead, they are listed under CPNs. This lets the numbers operate as credit protection or credit privacy numbers.
Furthermore, because this form of theft is so difficult to detect, millions could be affected and not know it. As of April of this year, 43.4 million or 25.5% of Americans have a credit score lower than 599. This threatens their chances of acquiring loans because it indicates to lenders that the circumstances are too risky.
An even more unfortunate component of this crime is that there aren’t any extra measures parents can take to protect their child’s Social Security number. All a parent can do is contact the credit bureaus to see if there has been a credit file linked to your child’s number.
If you or someone you know is the victim of a crime that has caused debt, the counselors at debthelper.com may be able to help. Call 1-800-920-2262 today.
The Palm Beach Post