Picture this: Your child worked hard her entire life, always played by the rules, earned good grades in high school, and has been accepted to the college of her choice. It should be a time for celebration. But, when your child applies for student loans, she is denied. It’s only then that you realize she has been a victim of identity theft for years. This scenario may sound like a nightmare, but for far too many families, this is a reality.
The IRS recently announced cyber criminals were able to steal information from over 100,000 Americans’ tax returns. The thieves created phony returns and stole refunds by completing a multiple-factor authentication process including private data and non-identity information (e.g. social websites). As information-based crimes are on the rise, it is important to understand where criminals are retrieving this information. Below are five probable ways criminals obtained sensitive information:
Child identity theft has become a growing problem in recent years. This type of fraud is increasingly difficult to fix as it is often discovered many years later when the damage is quite extensive, sometimes not until the child is 18.
According to the FTC, there were over 19,000 child identity theft complaints recorded in 2011. Child identity theft is growing and 84% of parents with minor children have little or no familiarity with this growing problem.