Just this week we learned of a new way that identity thieves are stealing identities – scanning for inactive Social Security numbers of children and selling them to other people. One of the weaknesses of the credit reporting system is that there’s no way to determine the applicant’s age from their report. If you think back to your own report, there isn’t a birthday listed because, presumably, your age is not a reliable factor on your credit risk.
Thieves are able to get away with it because children never apply for credit, children don’t review their credit reports once every twelve months, and it’s typically not discovered until the family starts receiving collection notices for debts they never knew about!
The Identity Theft Resource Center has a fact sheet to help explain the problem and how you can fix it. Ultimately, the best solution is to review your children’s credit reports regularly, as you do your own, to detect it as early as possible.