Fact vs. Fiction Archive

Fiction: No one would want to steal my child's identity, so I don't have to worry about it.

Fact: Children are the fastest-growing targets for identity theft, with an estimated 500,000 new cases a year, according to Experian. Kids make attractive targets for identity thieves because they have no previous credit history. Moreover, the crime may go undetected for years because parents don't typically check to find out whether their children have credit records. And credit issuers often don't verify an applicant's age; information on the application is taken at face value, especially when submitted over the phone or online. Credit reporting agencies and the Social Security Administration don't share information, so agencies don't necessarily know that an applicant's social security number belongs to a minor. The damage can be devastating because of the length of time that may pass before the fraud is discovered.

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