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The Resource Center Child Identity Theft & Protection | article

Even Kindergartners Can Benefit from Identity Protection Services

While your youngster probably hasn’t applied for their own credit card or mortgage, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need help from identity protection services. If you don’t believe that your child may need protection from identity theft, take a look at the statistics: A 2011 Carnegie Mellon Survey found that nearly 10 percent of all of the Social Security numbers belonging to children who participated were currently being used by others for items such as car loans, cable bills and other accounts generally reserved for adults.

This information indicates that kindergartners may be as much as 50 percent more vulnerable to fraud than adults and members of other demographic groups. But why are underage individuals who rely upon their parents for financial support so at risk of having their credit score ruined before they even open up their first bank account?

The reason why kindergartners need identity protection services is that their Social Security number is currently not attached to a credit report. Essentially, the identities of minors are financial blank slates, and if a thief is able to get a hold of one of these Social Security numbers, they could take out accounts or finance new loans without having to worry about being declined because of past issues regarding their credit.

Therefore, protection from identity theft is crucial to a kindergartner when they are going to school for the first time, as thieves can take advantage of application documents that require you to hand over personal identification information. Verify that any extra-curricular activities you sign your child up for are legitimate and that you’re only handing over information that is absolutely necessary. After all, many childhood identity theft schemes are inside jobs committed by individuals who you trust with your child’s well-being.