When your child is born, they are almost immediately equipped with a birth certificate as their first form of identification and then just weeks or months later their Social Security number. This code is the key to their identity as United States citizens, as they will need it to open up accounts as they grow up, take out loans and even get married in the future. As a result, child identity theft runs rampant stateside, and children are currently the number one targets for this crime.
“Be aware of how your children’s personal information is used just like your own information SS number, and date of birth, be aware of how it is being used,” Jim Walsh, a U.S. Postal Inspector, told CBS News in a story about identity protection.
A child’s identity is so valuable because it essentially acts as a blank slate for any thief attempting to use it. Because a youngster has never used their Social Security number to apply for accounts, this code is not attached to a credit report and therefore could belong to any name used alongside it. This is great for anyone committing identity theft because it will likely be years before the child discovers the fraud when they apply using their Social Security number and are informed it has already been compromised.
Human trafficking of illegal immigrants depends on the Social Security numbers of children to function. Immigrants can keep front up for years using their newly acquired identities, applying for housing, jobs and even a marriage license.