Why children are common targets for identity thieves


We tell you a lot about identity theft in our consumer alert stories, but have you thought about keeping your kids’ identities safe?

Turns out, kids are actually targeted more than adults.

Your youth is supposed to be some of the happiest times of your life, but one statistic is sure to change that view.

“Child identity theft is actually 51-percent higher than adult identity theft,” said Jason Kama, Hawaii Better Business Bureau director of marketing. “Children have a blank credit basically. When you think about it, kids don’t have credit cards or past debts of past loans, so their credit is clean relatively. So what they will do is take the child’s social security number and take fictitious names or birth dates to create an ID.”

So how can you keep your keiki’s ID safe from harm?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Try and limit how much you have to use your child’s social security number.
  • Stay alert. Those offers you get in your child’s name for a credit card could mean that social security number has been used.
  • When you child turns 16, do a credit check. At that age, you’d have enough time before college to get their financial house in order.

“It’s a little tough right now, because your social security number is used for so many things as an ID,” Kama said, “but trying to limit that use is a best practice, and if a place asks for a child’s social security number, it’s not bad to ask if any other form of ID or identification number is accepted there.”

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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