Did you know that more than one million American children were victims of identity fraud in 2017? This shocking statistic was a major driver for me to pore over article after article, looking for the causes and solutions – and put on my hat as both a fraud fighter and a parent.
In my research, I learned that two-thirds of the children whose identities were stolen were under eight years old. That the UK is experiencing a 126% growth rate year-on-year in the number of identity fraud victims who are minors. And that while much of the growth rate can be blamed on data breaches that we as individuals can’t control; it can also be blamed on “sharenting” — parents or even grandparents sharing information about children on social media. This is a behaviour we parents can very much control.
Studies estimate that by the year 2030 two-thirds of identity fraud cases affecting today’s children will have resulted from sharenting. As parents who constantly worry about the threats our kids will face, we are one of our own worst enemies.
I tackled the topic of the root causes of child identity theft and how you can protect your children as a parent, during a mainstage presentation at our recent conference, FICO World. I encourage you to watch this video to learn some of the things you can do to protect your kids – including how to freeze your credit. You can also read my previous post on this topic, which has important links.
If you work in the fraud department at a bank, this video will be useful to you as well, and you can read my article in American Banker for more specific tips. I would also encourage you to check out our application fraud and identity theft solutions.
Follow me on Twitter @LizFightsFraud to keep up with my thoughts on a wide range of fraud topics.