What Is Child Identity Theft?

Digital fingerprint

When it comes to identity theft, most people immediately think about someone stealing their social security card or driver’s license. However, child identity theft is almost as common as adult identity theft, and many parents don’t often consider protecting their children’s information. 

While limiting the amount of time children spend online and interacting with social media can help decrease the chance of identity theft, there is still a chance a thief can obtain their information.

Creating a plan to prevent child identity theft doesn’t need to be difficult, especially when utilizing an app with security features. Platforms like Life360 offer a way to keep your kid’s information safe and provide other benefits like location sharing through our premium plans.

Child Identity Theft Statistics

For many parents, keeping their children safe is the most important thing they can do. Although, few parents initially consider child identity theft a hazard for their kids. But the truth is, one out of every ten kids will be a victim of identity theft before their 18th birthday. 

Understanding the dangers is one way to help prevent your children from falling into an identity theft trap. Below are several key child identity theft statistics laid out by SafeHome.org:

  • Three out of four child identity theft victims know the thieves
  • 43% of child identity theft occurs to kids between the age of 15-18 years old
  • 61% of monthly ransomware attacks target schools
  • 94% of families affected by child identity theft didn’t have a protection plan in place

Signs of Child Identity Theft

If you don’t have a protection plan such as Life360 Gold or Platinum in place currently, it could be challenging to determine if your kid is a victim of identity theft. Sometimes, you won’t know it has happened until they apply for their first credit card. However, a few signs could point to the fact that your child’s identity has been stolen.

Here is a look at some of the warning signs:

  • Creditors or debt collection agencies send mail addressed to your child
  • Social media and online accounts belonging to your child are posting spam
  • Your child’s credit report shows active unknown accounts

How to Prevent Child Identity Theft 

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent all child identity theft from happening. However, there are proactive steps you can take to keep your child’s information safe, including:

  • Educating your child on internet safety and warning signs of attempted identity theft
  • Place a freeze on young children’s credit reports
  • Only share your child’s SSN when necessary
  • Delete personal information from any device you get rid of or throw away

Another important action you can take to help prevent child identity theft is to utilize a company like Life360. Along with location-sharing services, Life360 also offers ID theft protection services. Life360 will actively scan the web, alert you to any breaches, and work to establish the next steps to keep your children’s information safe and secure. 

What to Do If Your Child’s Identity Has Been Stolen 

You should act quickly if you’ve been notified or suspect your child’s identity has been stolen. Along with filing an official police report and notifying the Federal Trade Commission, you should also complete the following steps:

  • Contact the main credit bureaus and request they remove fraudulent accounts
  • Freeze your child’s credit report
  • Call the company where the fraud took place and close the associated accounts
  • Reach out to the Social Security Administration 

Keep Your Child’s Identity Safe with Life360

In addition to built-in data breach alerts, Life360 offers additional protection for Gold and Platinum members. Register online for the Life360 app today and start protecting your child’s future. 

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