Beware of thieves stealing children's identities

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A warning for all parents: thieves are targeting your children.  Crooks are using their personal information to open up credit cards and back accounts. If could be year's before you know anything's wrong.

Young Nathan is just a year old. Right now the only thing he cares about is the playground.  His mom Angela is one who worries for his safety.  But she never thought about the security of his identity.

Had you ever worried about his credit? Someone stealing his identity? "Never thought about it," said Angela Fratus.  "Never crossed my mind."

Friday, a national expert explained to local police the new crime trend: stealing a child's identity.

"I can give you a specific example of a young man that was targeted at a very young age," said Wayne Ivey, an identity theft expert with LifeLock.

"Both he and his parents never knew that until he started to go to college.  And when he was making his approach to college he was applying for some students loans and boom found out he was the victim of identity theft."

Wayne Ivey says crooks have several ways of snatching a child's information.

"From the Internet," Ivey said. "They're doing hacking into personal home computers. They're getting it from a mole that may be works inside the school where your child goes, or maybe it's the healthcare provider where your child goes."

He's seen cases where a child's name has been used to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt after having an identity stolen.

Brooklyn is almost two years old.  Her dad Doug couldn't believe someone so young could be in so much danger.

"It's something that we really need to look into for the future of our children," said Doug Schultz.

Both he and Angela will now pull their child's annual credit report, just to make sure.

"It would be very dis-heartening knowing that somebody else had been using his identity all these years that we didn't know about," said Fratus.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.