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The Resource Center Child Identity Theft & Protection | article

Don’t Give Mom Your Identity for Mother’s Day

For many people, there isn't a single thing they wouldn't do for their parents, and no present is too great to show their appreciation. That's why, on Mother's Day, millions of people scramble to find that perfect gift for mom to show her that they value her and how much she has done for them.

However, as much as you may love your mom, when it comes to some "gifts" — such as her taking over your identity — your mother may be asking for too much of you.

Child identity theft is a growing crime
Every year, millions of children are victims of identity theft where the person committing the fraud is actually one of their parents. A 2012 study from the Javelin Research Institute found that identity theft increased by more than 13 percent during 2011 with roughly 11.6 million individuals falling victim to fraud. However, it is expected that millions of identities every year get stolen that go unreported because the victims are too young to realize what happen.

The youngest members of the family are the most vulnerable
According to the source, approximately 500,000 children under the age of 18 were victims of the this crime in 2011 because their parents had used their Social Security numbers to open up new lines of credit and home loans, just to name a few. As a result, parents are in many cases destroying their children's credit score before they've even applied for their own credit card or student loan, hampering their ability to succeed as an adult.

Crime often goes unreported for years
Many children don't know about the theft until they go to apply for one of these accounts and are abruptly denied because of their poor credit standing. The reason parents might steal their child's identity is because they have already destroyed their own credit and their child's has yet to mature and therefore functions as a blank slate.

By checking your credit report regularly and enlisting the services of an identity monitoring program, you'll be better prepared to spot certain activity that could be the sign of an identity theft and take actions to clear your name.