How children are becoming online identity theft victims.
Around 1.3 million children have their identities stolen every year, half of these children being younger than 6. Criminals are always on the lookout for the ‘cleanest’ records possible, which is why a child’s identity is more likely to be stolen.
In the US, online identity theft is a lot more rife. Criminals are using children’s identities to take out loans and buy homes. A Norton’s Online Family Report from 2010 showed that 41% of children have had an anonymous person try to add them as a friend on a social networking site, 63% of kids have responded to online scams and 77% have downloaded a virus, all of which put them at risk of identity theft.
While a large percentage of younger children are targeted by cyber criminals, teens are much for likely to become victims. Not only do they spend more time online but they’ll also already have an ID number. When a child becomes a victim of identity theft it can affect their credit records and professional careers later down the line.
How do you know if your child’s identity has been stolen?
- Pull a credit report. If your child is still in school, they shouldn’t have a credit score. If they do, they could be victims of identity theft. Visit https://mytransunion.co.za to pull a report using your child’s ID number.
- Your bank account application has been declined. When a bank account application is declined, could be a sign that your child’s identity has been stolen. If an account already exists in their name, this is definitely another red flag.
- Check their inbox. If your teen spends time online, they almost definitely have an email account. If they start to receive suspicious emails about credit card and loan offers, it might be a good idea to check their credit score.
Want more tips for keeping your kids safe online? Visit www.saferschools.co.za