LOS ANGELES, CA -- Not that you need another item for your parental worries-- but you'll want to all child's financial safety, after you watch this story.
From the time your child receives a social security number, their personal information needs to be protected.They immediately become vulnerable to identity theft.
If that sounds crazy, consider this: children and adolescents have become the fastest growing sector of identity theft victims. U.S. Postal Inspector Jim Walsh said, "Be aware of how your children's personal information is used just like your own information social security number, and date of birth, be aware of how it is being used."
In one recent case, more than 500 elementary school kids had their information compromised. A suspect with access to school files sold the kids' personal information to another suspect. Walsh said, "There were hundreds of accounts opened and most of the accounts were used to get money."
Suspects withdrew cash advances or would sell the names to make fake college I.D's. Postal inspectors say children have clean credit histories - which makes them appealing to criminals. Walsh said, "If they apply for a loan or try to get credit they could find out their credit is basically ruined and wouldn't know it the whole time they are growing up."
Postal inspectors suggest people periodically check their child's credit.
Trying to fix a child's ruined credit is just as time consuming as is repairing an adult's credit. Inspectors say the best advice is don't give your child's social security number and date of birth to someone you don't know or for reasons that seem suspicious.
US Postal Inspectors/ WFMY News 2