Child identity theft is a growing crime that is causing damage to the pristine credit reports of children. Hundreds of online businesses are finding inactive Social Security numbers online – most of which are assigned to children under the age of 18 who have not started using them yet. These scammers are then selling the numbers under different names to help people establish fake credit. Protecting your child’s innocent, clean record is something that every parent needs to do.
Recognizing the need for a nationwide grassroots consumer education outreach, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) is joining government agencies and national advocacy organizations in launching the 4th annual National Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) October 16 – 22, 2011. This event coincides with CBBB’s Secure Your ID Day to be held on October 22, 2011. During PYIW, BBBs will conduct identity theft protection events in communities across the nation. At the local events consumers can take advantage of educational workshops and the shredding of documents, all free of charge and open to the public. For information on events being held in Central Texas visit www.centraltx.bbb.org/shred.
Identity theft touched the lives of more than 8.1 million adult victims in 2010. According to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research, the theft resulted in the loss of $37 billion dollars. On top of that, children may be 51 times more likely than adults to have their identity stolen, according to a study conducted by AllClear ID.
“We are all at risk for identity theft, but our children are particularly vulnerable,” said Council of Better Business Bureaus spokesperson Katherine Hutt, whose own son was a victim of identify theft his first semester in college. “It’s our role as parents to understand how to protect our children, and to teach them how to safely manage their personal information.” She noted that BBB plans to continue helping communities guard against identity theft with more products, services and programs in the future.
Consumers can find PYIW educational events in their area by going to the website at www.ProtectYourIDNow.org. The site also features an interactive quiz to help consumers assess their risk of identity theft, videos, blogs and identity theft prevention tips. The website is also available in Spanish at www.cuidesuidentidad.org.