More Thieves Stealing Children’s Identities
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Identity theft is on the rise, but the victims aren’t who you may think.
A new study finds children are 51 percent more likely to have their identity stolen than an adult.
“It seems to be a very growing trend in this country right now, it’s actually a whole lot more prominent than people think,” says Deputy Keshia Guyll with the Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Office.
More than 10 percent of all children under 18 will fall victim to juvenile identity theft.
“They’re easy pray. It’s not easily detected as a child. I mean, even infants and toddlers are having their identities stolen,” she said.
Even Deputy Guyll had hers stolen when she was 17.
“Apparently, a murderer, a convicted murderer out of Florida, that was in the state prisons in Florida was using my social as an alias social.”
Thieves are after a clean credit record, clean criminal history and a victim who isn’t checking their credit frequently.
“It takes a whole lot longer for people to detect that their identity has been stolen. A lot of these kids aren’t finding out that their identities have been stolen until they’re 16 years old and they try to buy a car, or they try to get a student loan,” she said.
Deputy Guyll suggests parents be vigilant in protecting their children’s identities.
“A lot of places don’t have to have it, they just ask for it, but they don’t have to have it. So be very picky and if somebody asks for your child’s social, ask them why.”
Also don’t carry yours or your child’s social security card with you and make sure to shred any documents that have the number on them.
“A lot of people don’t know, you can check your child’s credit report anytime just to make sure nothing’s happened.”
Advice Deputy Guyll herself, is taking.
“It’s such a mess to deal with. After learning about this, I’m definitely going to check my children’s.”
At this point it’s unknown how the scammers are getting the numbers.
The Sheriff’s office is working on the front end of the trend to hopefully keep it out of Northwest Arkansas.
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