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Privacy Crime The Internet

More Than 1 Million Kids Had Their Identities Stolen in 2017 (nypost.com) 69

More than 1 million children were victims of identity fraud in 2017, a new study from Javelin Strategy & Research found, costing a total of $2.6 billion. From a report: With limited financial history or existing account activity, children are the most likely to become victims of new-account fraud, the research showed. These attacks can occur before children even become active internet users, with some two-thirds of victims being under the age of eight. The overall numbers are likely even higher, said Al Pascual, research director at Javelin said, since their study relied on parents and guardians reporting cases of identity theft. In many cases, the parent or another relative may be the one using a child's identity to start a new account.
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More Than 1 Million Kids Had Their Identities Stolen in 2017

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  • Is there any particular reason to go after a child's identity? It's not as though it's useful for opening a line of credit or anything like that. About the only reasons I can think of is to serve as chaff or a distraction for more targeted activities, because it's an automated process that doesn't know any better and is only doing so for some kind of click fraud to make the clicks seem more legitimate, or because the competition for private grade schools has grown much more fierce and if one person steal th
    • actually yes, children's SS numbers are in fact used to establish lines of credit by identity thieves. And to get utilities and rental contracts. Also identities are used to get government benefits

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        It is not identity theft, it is credit fraud and the idiot who accepted the fake identity should be prosecuted unless they can prove someone did provide a fake identity. The person who accept the fake identity is solely responsible for that failure to accurately confirm identity and should be liable for all harm and suffering caused to the person they cheated. The credit companies just waffle this shit, to shift liability and proof of innocence to the person whose identity was used, rather than the idiot wh

        • It is not identity theft, it is credit fraud and the idiot who accepted the fake identity should be prosecuted unless they can prove someone did provide a fake identity. The person who accept the fake identity is solely responsible for that failure to accurately confirm identity and should be liable for all harm and suffering caused to the person they cheated. The credit companies just waffle this shit, to shift liability and proof of innocence to the person whose identity was used, rather than the idiot who accepted the false indemnity and the credit companies for failure to provide proper security methods in place, to cheap and greedy.

          Then why not just make both of them at fault instead of pointing your finger to just one? Shouldn't identity thief be at fault and the idiots who accepted and approved the fake identity be at fault as well?

        • wrong, a persons identity is first needed to commit the fraud.

    • A minor's identity is a blank slate.

      No arrests, no bad credit, no legal troubles in another state... It's a fresh start to adult life, just as soon as that identity turns 18 and stops raising the real big red flags on background checks. Usually for a job or credit account, the person running the check isn't actually dealing with the fraudster, so they're unlikely to notice that the guy who clearly looks middle-aged is claiming to be 20.

      Unfortunately, the other common case is that it's often parents who hone

      • Why the hell would anyone allow a 4 year old to open a line of credit? They can't possibly consent to such a thing and there's no good reason to allow it. Any financial institution foolish enough to give out credit without doing proper due diligence deserves to get stuck with the bad debt, not the unwitting child. If a bank wants to go after that parents or whoever was responsible, that's on them.
        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          That fully legal and working nations ID has value later to illegal migrants and international students looking to "work".
          As long as the date of birth adds up years later thats a part time job for a non citizen working illegally in a nation under a citizens name.
          Thats a working ID, full bank account and way to never get a tax problem when getting a wage. Wage goes in, cash comes out clean.
          Use it for a job for a while, buy a new ID again.
    • No rusty shackleford is the one with all the bad loans and not dale gribble or dale's dead bug

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      In a few years you have a clean usable ID to sell.
      No party political work history.
      No failed tests, bad credit, rent history, tax and education records.
      No having worked for the gov, as a contractor. No strange university education, job to have to cover for.
      Its a clean ID that can be sold and shaped by a new owner.
      A fake ID with another persons history gets complex and is in too many databases.
      Too wealthy, too poor, too many debts, unexpected encounters with the police? Governments and brands lo
  • by tirnacopu ( 732831 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @05:15PM (#56496807)

    Anecdotal story: me, 40 year old, fully employed for as long as I can remember, show up at a bank's desk, get rejected from various offers because of what I'm being told is "not enough history". How the hell does a 18 old get anything but a lollipop?

    • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @05:22PM (#56496853)

      Not all lenders have strict standards.

      For example, most "finance your new car here!" dealers will accept anyone with a pulse, and about half of the people without one.

    • Because for an 18 year old, "no credit history" is normal. For a 40 year old, it is not. If you are 40, and have no history of using credit, then you are likely an eccentric weirdo and a bad risk. So you have no CC, no mortgage, no car payments, and you prepay your utilities?

  • Banks and others are being negligent when they offer loans and other contracts to people they know are minors.

    The first thing they should be asking for is proof of emancipation or a parent or guardian's signature.

    Second, because of the amount of fraud involved, they need to do some "due diligence" in verifying the emancipation order is legit or verifying the purported parent's signatures are legit.

    • Replying to my own post before others say "parents:"

      Parents committing fraud will be very difficult to detect until the child/victim discovers it on his own.

      How can a bank tell the difference between a kid opening a credit card at his parent's urging so he can build up a credit history, and a parent opening the same account for fraudulent purposes? It is difficult or impossible without a personal interview, which isn't something most banks are going to do for your average consumer account.

      But as for other

      • How can a bank tell the difference between a kid opening a credit card at his parent's urging so he can build up a credit history

        By noticing the kid is less than 18 years old.

        Banks should not be attempting to sign contracts with minors.

  • They could use technology far more intelligently, they could come up with far more intelligent rules. They could let customers choose more secure options but they don't, the banks are the enablers of fraud. They rely far too much on assuming that if someone supplies the right ID 1 time that the account is secure from there onwards.

    UK has chip and pin, yet the shops allowed the fraudster simply to verbally give card details, they asked for no ID, no card and gave the fraudster 100s worth of goods, unbelievab

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The protected "groups" in the community don't get advanced new banking services.
      No home loan, car loan, no bank account.
      Generations of poor people, illegal migrants get locked out of the normal banking sector that citizens enjoy.
      So the USA keeps its entry to loans and banking services open to all.
      The way around that is a document list that proves citizenship. Photo ID, passport, birth certificate, driver licence should all add up in parts to getting a bank account.
  • There is no telling how many unwashed fat 50-ish men are on the Internet posing as 14-year-old virgin girls.

    That's been going on since way back into the BBS days.

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