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Rip-Off Alert: Children often target of ID thefts

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 8/15/2013 2:37 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- Add this to your list of parental worries: your child's financial safety. In this Rip-Off Alert, from the time children receives a Social Security number, their personal information needs to be protected.

Just days after they are born, children receive a Social Security number -- and immediately become vulnerable to identity theft. Children and adolescents have become the fastest growing sector of identity theft victims.

In one recent case, 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 U.S. Postal Inspector Jim Walsh.

Suspects withdrew cash advances or would sell the names to make fake college IDs. Postal inspectors 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,” Walsh said.

Postal inspectors advise to periodically check your child’s credit.


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