Friday, November 20, 2009

Identity Theft’s Youngest Victims: Children and Teens

By Aleshia Altizer

Applying for that first credit card or opening that first checking account should be an exciting step for teens. But for some, this could be the moment when they discover that they’ve been victimized by identity theft. Children are susceptible because it is often years before they attempt to apply for credit, leaving the thief plenty of time to abuse their credit and vanish. A story posted on MSN Money earlier this year gives us a sobering look at the impact of identity theft to our children.

A 17 year old from California went in to open a checking and savings account at the bank only to discover his Social Security Number was under someone else’s name. The young man’s identity had been stolen years before when he was only 12. Now, as a college graduate he has been “financially crippled” by the bad credit the thief left behind.

The article also quotes former New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton who made the following remarks in a statement: “Identity theft and the theft of our personal information is out of control,” Clinton wrote. “No one is safe, not even kids and young adults, as identity thieves carry out electronic muggings that can cost people cash and their credit records.”

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Aleshia Altizer is a Corporate Writer at Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. Pre-Paid Legal's signature products, including the Life Events Legal Plan and Identity Theft Shield, serve more than 1.5 million families in North America.

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