Fastest growing area of ID theft - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fastest growing area of ID theft

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's shocking but true, cyber criminals are targeting kids.  It's a sneaky way for them to go undetected.

Cyber criminals are looking for dormant Social Security numbers and love those assigned to your kids because they are rarely tracked.  They sell your kid's number and help people run up credit card debts they never plan on paying.

WHAT THE CYBERCRIMINALS DO:

1.  They buy, find, or steal a set of Social Security numbers

2.  They build a program to check public databases to see if there is any credit attached to the SSN

3.  If no credit is attached, the cyber criminals sell the SSN

4.  They may also do a cross check on social networking sites to match the number to any information they can find on your kid or they may sell the SSN with another name

A KEY WARNING SIGN:

Are you seeing credit card applications in your child's name?  It may be harmless marketing but could also be a sign that a cyber creep has started a credit history in your kid's name

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE NOW:

1.  If you open a bank account in your kid's name, ask to have them removed from marketing

2.  Request a free credit report from  www.annualcreditreport.com

3.  If you are worried that your kid's social security number was compromised, you can request a credit freeze on the file until the kids came of age

WEBSITES YOU MAY WANT TO VISIT:

Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC):  http://www.idtheftcenter.org/index.html

Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Page:  http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html

Access free credit reporting at www.annualcreditreport.com

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