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Instead, they've shifted to online transactions and got more savvy, opening new accounts as a means of compromising those consumers already have.
The high rate of familiar fraud makes it tougher to build your case, said Javelin's Pascual.
Perpetrators may have used your verified home address or phone to apply for the account, for example.
(You might share that detail with your estate planner or the person named as guardian in your will, for example.)4.
Monitor for red flags A credit freeze only helps on credit, and there are plenty of other avenues where a Social Security number or other data can be misused, Amissi said.
A newborn's SSN, when you go to file taxes, "might have earnings associated with it and a five-year credit history."Minors are also much more likely than adults to become victims of familiar fraud — meaning the identity thief is someone they know.
Javelin estimates that 6 in 10 child victims personally know the perpetrator, compared to 7 percent of adults."We've Jedi mind-tricked ourselves into thinking this is an adult problem."Minors face some of the same risks as adults do, with their information being compromised in data breaches.But thieves are more likely to capitalize on kids' data.So-called synthetic identity theft, where thieves create new identities using a combination of real and fictitious information, is another risk for minors, said Eva Velasquez, chief executive and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center, which helps consumers dealing with such fraud.The change to randomized Social Security numbers in mid-2011 means a crafty thief could potentially build a profile around a number before there's a victim, she said."We're talking to folks who are having these numbers issued to their kids, and they're already tainted," Velasquez said.Check with your state attorney general and the three major credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and Trans Union — for details on the process.If you take that step on behalf of your children, make sure that you're not the only person to know the PIN to lift the freeze, Velasquez said.And victims may not be willing to make the necessary law-enforcement complaints to document the problem."Do I file a police report against my brother? With that in mind, it's key to take steps to prevent your child's identity from being compromised in the first place and act quickly if you suspect a problem.1.Keep data out of circulation Don't overshare personal details, such as your child's Social Security number, said ITRC's Velasquez."You're counting on the company to be good stewards of that information."It's also important to talk to your kids about protecting their information, said Amissi at Identity Guard.Parents should know what personal information their children are storing on electronic devices or sharing with third parties, she said, and teach them safe internet behaviors — including how to spot potential scams and phishing attempts.2.