Greensboro, NC -- Most of us think the average identity theft victim is probably an older person, but in reality the most common target is a child. In fact the latest information from Carnegie Mellon shows children are 51 times more likely to be a victim than adults.
Another study says one in every 40 households in the US has at least one child that has been victimized by identity theft. Experts believe the main reason why kids are picked is because ID thieves usually have a longer time frame to use the child's information. Most families won't likely discover something's wrong until their son or daughter goes to apply for a job in their teens.
Preventing this isn't easy but there are a few things you can do to take action:
- The Better Business Bureau of Greensboro says first and foremost parents should be checking their child's credit reports at least once a year.
- If you find your child has charges and business accounts not linked to them, immediately have the credit agencies issue a fraud report and contact law enforcement.
- The BBB says it's also important to prevent oversharing of personal information online.
"Parents need to be vigilant with their children as well. Sometimes kids will post information about themselves on Facebook or other social media without realizing some of the ramifications of their postings," said Kevin Hinterberger, Greensboro BBB.
In particular make sure your child's birthday, schools and birth places aren't listed online.