According to NBC News, more than 1 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft last year, including those living here in Las Vegas and Henderson. Two-thirds of the child victims are under the age of eight. This recent spike in child identity theft has led to $2.67 billion in losses to consumers.
These figures don’t convey the whole story because many parents never check whether their children have credit profiles (most children under 18 should not have a credit report unless they have credit cards or accounts with their parents). Fraudsters and identity thieves seek out children’s Social Security numbers and private information because they are often unused and easier to take advantage of to open new accounts.
To prevent child identity theft, parents should visit www.annualcreditreport.com to see whether their children have credit reports. If so, parents should review the credit reports for any fraudulent or inaccurate information. If the reports contain fraudulent information, the parents should obtain a police report and write the major credit bureaus enclosing the police report and information about the fraud.
You have the right to sue the credit card companies and credit bureaus for false reporting if they fail to remove the fraudulent information within 30 days of your written notice. You can also hire an identity theft lawyer for no out-of-pocket cost because these companies are required to pay your fees and costs if you have a case.