9 Year Mortgage on the Growing Generation Susceptible to ID Theft
Each year one in every 20 Americans is at risk of identity theft, in the end affecting millions. Did you stop to consider that a part of those effected by identity theft are those under the age of 18, especially children? In the past year there were nearly 20,000 reported cases of identity theft occurring in the lives of young people in our nation. 9 Year Mortgage has become aware of the growing trend of stealing young children’s identities and would like to share with you the reasons behind this monstrosity and precautions that you can take to ensure the safety of your child’s financial future.
9 Year Mortgage on Why Kid’s Identities are Big Targets
Before the method of creating Social Security numbers (SSN) was changed to putting random numbers together, the first three numbers were generally based off a corresponding area code or zip code. 9 Year Mortgage notes that because this past method was quite predictable, ID thieves were able to get Social Security numbers much more easily than today. As a result of that though, children who were issued SSN’s around that era are now finding out that they have $39,000 worth of debt as a nine year old or that they are even ineligible for student debit cards because of late payments on their 3-4 mortgages they have at age 18. In some cases, it seems that the first use of a child’s SSN actually occurred years before they were even born. Even after the method of creating Social Security numbers was changed, children are still becoming victims of identity theft. The reason a child’s identity is so attractive to thieves is because it is untouched; there is no good or bad credit attached to their name.
The question that everyone, including 9 Year Mortgage, asks is how do they get away with it for so long? As it turns out, since a child’s Social Security number doesn’t have an existing credit profile, a thief can take the Social Security number and pair it with a new name and birthdate to get access to credit. If a thief were to take an adults Social Security number, it would entail a lot more work. Since an adult already has an established credit, a thief would have to provide personally identifiable information in order to get access to any sort of credit. If the fact that they can just change the name that a child’s SSN is attached to isn’t unnerving enough, it has come to 9 Year Mortgage’s attention that there is actually NO system that checks who the actual SSN belongs to when a person opens a new line of credit. This allows ID thieves to go undetected for years, which gives him or her years to build a credit history on someone else’s Social Security number. The reason older children are finding out that their identity has been stolen is because their name and SSN do not match the credit profile of the person who originally used that Social Security number.
Who is Stealing Kid’s Identity’s and How to Protect it
9 Year Mortgage regrets to inform you that the key culprits behind identity theft are indeed family members and close friends, although organized rings, illegal immigrants, and low-income households are other main contributors. The fact that a Social Security number was originally designed to track income and eligibility for benefits but has now expanded to become the requirement for job applicants, credit cards, loans, and schools has led to uncertainty of how to accurately protect them. Still today, when the act of identity theft is one of the largest crimes committed in the United States, there are still handfuls of states that have no laws requiring certain protocol that needs to be followed if and when an organization’s security has been breached. Why is this so significant you ask? Well from the time you are 15 til your ready for retirement, every place you have applied to for a job has a record of your social security number… If there is no protocol on how to protect this private information once handing it over to an organization, how are we to know that it truly is protected? The answer is simply that we do not know how to protect our Social Security numbers once it is on paper and out of our hands. In order to compensate for what organizations lack, companies offering identity protection are advertised everywhere. However, 9 Year Mortgage would have you know that these companies simply watch your transactions and give you alerts if something fishy shows up. Why pay someone else to watch your bank accounts when you can so easily do so yourself using online banking? In addition, every individual is allowed to put a freeze on his or her accounts if they suspect fraudulent activities, so paying a company to do something so simple seems like a waste of money to 9 Year Mortgage.
Concluding with 9 Year Mortgage
The truth is there is no such thing as absolute protection when it comes to each and every one of our identities, even our children. If you find yourself in the situation where a child’s identity has been stolen, try to make it into a learning experience for him or her. Talk to your kids about savings, credit, responsibility, privacy and self reliance; by doing so you can insure your child will grow up knowing what their identity is and how important it is for the remainder of their life. Identity theft is unfortunately one of the leading crimes sweeping our nation, and the only way to ensure yours is safe is to take control of your finances. Do not find yourself becoming lazy when it comes to thoroughly checking your accounts and teaching kids how to check theirs too. 9 Year Mortgage believes that by being active in your finances, you can protect yourself more efficiently and effectively than a majority of our nation.
You can find more information from 9 Year Mortgage about Guarding Against Identity Theft Here.
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