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Authorities on the lookout for identity theft targeting children

By now it is pretty much common knowledge that identity theft is becoming much easier as more people depend upon the Internet to complete commercial transactions, manage their bank accounts and pay their taxes. And, as it the case with many types of crimes that can get the public on edge, law enforcement agencies throughout the country have responded by concentrating police efforts on investigating and preventing these theft crimes.

One type of identity theft that these agencies are focusing on is child identity theft. Many of our New Jersey readers may have thought that adults with credit cards and bank accounts were the only people being victimized by identity theft, but that isn't the case.

Child identity theft occurs when a minor's Social Security number and other identifying information is used in much the same way that an adult's information is used in an identity theft incident - to apply for federal benefits, open bank or credit card accounts or get a utility service hooked up. However, the main issue that makes child identity theft much more of a problem is that it can take a long time to discover the theft. After all, there aren't many children out there who are worrying about their credit score, so it doesn't become an issue until the child gets older and actually begins to make certain types of financial transactions.

So, in most cases it is up to parents to ensure that their child's identity has not been stolen. But oftentimes that is easier said than done, because too often there aren't any red flags that raise the issue for parents to look into. That's where law enforcement agencies come into the picture, and agencies throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country are investigating these crimes aggressively.

Source:, "Child Identity Theft," Accessed Dec. 13, 2014

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