If your child’s personal information has been compromised in a data breach, you may be wondering what the risks are. Can a child’s identity be stolen? Yes. In fact, it’s more likely that your child’s identity will be stolen than yours. Cybercriminals target children because the theft is less likely to be noticed. According to a report by Javelin Strategy & Research, more than 1 million children — or 1.48 percent of minors — were victims of identity theft or fraud in the United States in 2017. Maybe you received a friend request from a profile that uses your child’s photograph or personal information. There are several ways that a child’s identity can be compromised, and we’re here to help.
Worried about SSN or personally identifiable information (PII) identity theft?
The first thing you should do is check your child’s credit report. Be sure to provide as much information as possible when checking with the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs). Using multiple pieces of information will help you detect synthetic identity theft. Synthetic identity theft is a fraudulent practice in which the cybercriminal uses some real and some fake information to fabricate a new identity.
Did you notice someone with a different name using your child’s profile picture on Facebook?
This is another form of fraud. Social media identity theft occurs when fraudsters take photos and information from a person’s social media profiles to create fake profiles under their guise. Search all social media platforms for your child’s name; Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to see if your child’s personal information is being used elsewhere. You can also conduct a Google image search to find out if your child’s photos are being used elsewhere. Simply search for their photo on https://images.google.com/. Once you do this, report each fake profile to the individual social media site.
This blog was written by Taryn Porter, a past CSN employee.