Think your child has nothing to lose even if his or her identity gets stolen? Think again. This is one of the most common misconceptions about the crime, and also the deadliest. This “nothing to lose” mentality can contribute to your child’s vulnerability and set them up for a lifetime of crap to deal with.
What are the real-life consequences when a child’s identity gets stolen?
- They will be denied the first credit card they apply for because their credit history will show some funky behavior.
- Their first medical emergency will be muddled with incorrect information. (Identity thieves often use stolen information to get free medical services.)
- Their DMV records may be tied to criminal activity, which can create a pretty bad experience the first time your child gets a parking or speeding ticket.
- They will be denied a college loan to pay for school. Are you ready to pay cash for tuition? Hmmm?
- They will be denied their first apartment and utilities. Most landlords do a credit check on applicants before granting a lease.
So you see, there really are a lot of bad consequences when a child’s ID is stolen. While it may not seem like a big deal because no seven-year-old is out applying for mortgages or credit cards, it’s actually a pretty heinous crime whose consequences show up further down the road – but aren’t any less severe.
Keep checking out TheIdentityProject.com for discussion and tips on how to prevent child ID theft and what to do if you suspect it’s happened to your child.
Michelle Dennedy was America’s first Chief Privacy Officer, for Sun Microsystems. When Michelle’s own daughter’s identity was attacked, she vowed that she would never let it happen again. Michelle is now the Editor-in-Chief of The Identity Project, which is sponsored by AllClearID. AllClearID will monitor your child’s identity, notify you securely if it has been compromised, and repair and restore it – at no cost to you.