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Identity Theft of Children and the Elderly
Posted: October, 2014 by Check Credit Score Staff
While young children are just learning to read and talk well some identity thieves are making havoc of that young child's credit rating.
These thieves know that it is unlikely that anyone is going to be checking this child's credit report and scores for years to come. At this point the child has a major mess on its hands and the person or persons who made the mess are long gone. Even if they were caught it would not help with getting the child's credit report cleaned up.
Many children won't find out that their credit report shows that they have had a job and used credit when they were only five years old until they are in their teens and trying to get a credit card or buy that car for the first time.
The U. S. Postal Inspection Service reports that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Few know that social security numbers are being sold by the thousands on the street every day.
Many local police departments don't have the staff or the knowledge to help investigate these type crimes.
Identity Theft and the Elderly
Many elderly have the same problem with identity theft as children do. Thieves know that most elderly have lived past their borrowing ages. They usually have their home paid for, probably driving their last car, have what credit cards they are going to get and just generally aren't applying for new credit anymore.
The difference being between the elderly and children is that the elderly may never need credit again and therefore having their credit history all messed up may never be even discovered.
A young person's credit rating will still impact them when getting jobs, getting student loans and getting all types of credit.
Getting It Corrected
It is not just a simple phone call to the credit bureaus to say this stuff is not mine. It will take written letters and a good deal of the parent's or elderly person's time to try and get everything that is put into one's credit file corrected or just flagged as fraudulent.
Staying On Top Of Credit History
If you have a young child you should check their credit report and scores frequently. You might even want to sign up for a monthly monitoring service; especially if your child is reaching their teens. You want to have enough time to get their credit report flagged for identity theft before the child needs credit of their own.
The same thing applies to the elderly. If you are no longer applying for credit on a fairly frequent basis then you may also want to check your credit history by getting a copy of your credit report and scores on a regular basis. You never know when you will need or want to refinance your home, get a reverse mortgage or otherwise use credit in some manner.