How does child identity theft happen?

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Part of protecting your child’s identity is understanding how theft happens. You may be surprised to learn that some of the most common types of fraud take place offline.

Covering your bases proves extra important. 

There are five main types of child identity fraud: 

1. Theft within the family (i.e., familial fraud):

Family members, close friends, and legal guardians are most likely to commit child identity theft. (A Javelin study concludes that 70% of child identity theft victims know the perpetrator). These people have access to the child or family and can take steps to hide the fraud.

2. Phishing scams on email or social media:

We’ve all fallen for a phishing email a time or two. And kids are no exception. Children who use the internet unsupervised are also at higher risk of identity theft. These scams target them with the intent of getting personal information, like a SNN. 

Young girl looking at tablet

3. Data breaches from companies with your child’s SSN:

Billions of pieces of PII have been leaked in data breaches in the past few years. Any company that stores your child’s SSN can be hacked, leading to your child’s personal information being available on the Dark Web. 

4. Account hacking:

Hackers can access your or your child’s devices through unsecured Wi-Fi networks, password hacking, or malware. Any of these types of cyber attacks can lead to your child’s personal information being stolen. Unfortunately, with the rise of remote learning, these scams have become even more prevalent.

5. Physical theft of sensitive information:

Documents that contain your child’s SSN can be stolen from the mail or out of your trash. In some cases, criminals will bribe employees at companies or schools to hand over sensitive information. Wild!

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