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What Is Synthetic Identity Theft and Why Are Mostly The Children Victims of It?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, 85% of identity theft happening nowadays is synthetic where the thieves use your information to get to your credit cards and they use them to make different purchases and take loans. Most of the victims of this theft are youngsters because their credit doesn't get monitored often and when they want to pay their college loans, they find out that their credit is no longer safe for them to use.

In 2015, about $6 billion were lost because of Synthetic Identity theft but since then they increased to $20 billion in 2020. But parents do not know how to protect the credit of their children but here's a guide for them to save themselves as well as their children from this theft which is growing each passing day.

According to a study, 2 in 3 Americans (67%) do not know what synthetic identity theft is. Only 1% say that they have good knowledge about it while 32% say that they are somewhat familiar with it. To put it short, the Social Security Number of Americans that got stolen is used for Synthetic Identity Theft. The first thing thieves do after getting SSNs is steal your credit. They can get their hands on $500 to $10,000 and even more credit and can make purchases from it without the person ever finding out. The SSN can get stolen from your mobile phone or any other device that has your email, password, or other places which store your data.

Many people use credit monitoring services but they are not much effective against synthetic identity theft. You need to check your credit from time to time yourself to see if any theft is happening around. Children are the biggest victim of it because they and their parents do not check their credit much. Most of the time, the children are also a victim of it because they are not in control of their credit. More than 70% of the time, identity theft is done by someone who the child knew personally and who had control over his credit.

There are many ways that parents can prevent synthetic identity theft on their child's credit but very few take proper measures for it. In comparison to 2020, only a few parents are concerned about this theft but a large number of parents are not sharing their child's SSN unnecessarily with other people. If you want to prevent this theft from happening, keep the card of your child's social security number in a locked drawer and if you have written it somewhere on your mobile phone, keep the file locked with a strong password. If any bank or authority is asking for the child's SSN, give it to them only after confirming that they are authentic. Never give the child's data to anyone, including uncles and grandparents. There is a chance that they can unknowingly share it with someone else.

Ask the school administration of your child to keep his data safe according to cybersecurity policies and wipe away any data on your device which is of no use to you. Always educate your children that they shouldn't give their personal information to anyone including their friends and schoolfellows. If you suspect that you or your child is a victim of identity theft, change your security information like emails and passwords of sensitive documents and start a recovery plan by going to www.identitytheft.gov.

Contact the companies and tell them that it wasn't you who made all the purchases and took loans. These are the only ways you can stop synthetic identity theft from happening.

H/T: SecOrg
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