Child Identity Theft

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerAmong the many identity theft activities that fall under the federal crime umbrella, child identity theft seems especially brazen, although the benefits for those who commit this type of crime are no different than the advantages made possible by other forms of identity-related crimes. Any form of identity theft enables an offender to access stolen funds and services. Just as with an adult’s social security number, a child’s social security number can allow an offender to apply for a host of governmental benefits, as well as open a variety of credit card and bank accounts. It can also be used to apply for loans, obtain health care services, and even rent a place of residence.

Common Sources Used to Retrieve Personal Information

When children are enrolled in school, their educational records are often sourced by identity thieves to obtain sensitive personal information, particularly social security and address details. System security breaches as well as instances of improper filing, storage, and disposal of both electronic and paper educational records on school property can place such information at risk.

School records are not the only way offenders retrieve a child’s information, however. Along with classic cases of a lost wallet or stolen backpack, other events put a child’s information at risk, including break-ins at home, school, or a doctor’s office. Another common scenario the Federal Trade Commision reports is a family member or friend of the child stealing identifying information for their own purposes. For example, when a relative or acquaintance is having financial trouble or experiencing other personal issues, they may attempt to utilize a child’s information to obtain a line of credit or create a clean slate.

Events that Uncover the Crime

There are many ways child identity theft is discovered by parents of the victim. The following events are commonly responsible for revealing the fraudulent activity to parents:

IRS notices – A dead giveaway that a child’s personal information has been stolen is when notices from the IRS are sent to the parents alerting them that their child’s social security number has been used on someone else’s tax return. Notices that the child did not pay income taxes are also common.

Denial of government benefits – Parents often discover their child’s social security number has been stolen when they apply for government benefits of some kind, only to find out they are denied due to the benefits already being given to another account.

Collection calls – This happens with all kinds of identity fraud: The victim realizes their personal information has been stolen when they begin getting phone calls from collection agencies for products or services they never received. In this case, parents receive calls about debts under their child’s name, tipping them off that their child’s personal details have been compromised.

Involvement with identity fraud is a serious matter, as the activity is treated as a federal crime. If you have feel you have been wrongly accused of committing any kind of child identity fraud, it is crucial to speak with a skilled Chicago federal criminal lawyer right away to inquire about your rights and options to protect those rights. Call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today at 312-270-0999 for a one-on-one consultation.

Source:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0040-child-identity-theft

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