Report: Child ID theft on the rise
Posted: Friday, April 1 2011 at 03:53 am CT by Bob Sullivan
Child ID theft, among the more tragic and vexing 21st Century crimes, is much more common than previously thought, suggests a report being published Friday by a Carnegie Mellon University fellow.
Data examined by Richard Power, a distinguished fellow at the school’s CyLab research center, offers hints that identity thieves are specially targeting children when picking victims.
"They make perfect targets because they have no records and don’t discover the crime for years,” he said.
Using data supplied by identity monitoring company Debix, Power examined 40,000 children's profiles and found more than 10 percent had identities that were tainted in some way.
"These were 4,000 kids in there with gun licenses, mortgages, car loans and driver’s licenses. That's crazy," Power said.
Among the victims described in the report: A 16-year-old girl in Arizona with 33 credit accounts linked to her name, including three mortgages; a college student with $300,000 in debt that was the result of the transposition of numbers; a college student from Texas who lost an internship because her background check classified her as "unemployable"; and a 30-year-old woman in Arizona whose identity was compromised when she was 12 and who is still haunted by her imposter. When she tried to buy a home recently, her bank told her she had a recent foreclosure on her record.
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