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Special section Child identity theft

A stolen identity can cause big problems when a child grows up.

Children victimized by identity theft

Identity thieves have targeted a new circle of victims: children. By obtaining the Social Security number given to most children at birth, the thieves can build a whole new identity that they can use for years.

Often the fraud is not uncovered until the youngster grows up and goes to obtain credit, only to discover he or she already has a long and usually dismal credit history. Sorting it out can take years, and cost the victim dearly in lost credit, higher interest rates and even a criminal record.

Fortunately, government agencies and consumer credit bureaus are beginning to recognize the fraud and the need to take action. In addition, there are steps parents and guardians can take to protect their child's identity and credit record. And proper steps taken after the identity theft can help minimize the damage.

Child identity theft
Stolen innocence: Child ID theft
  Identity thieves are moving past adults and targeting children.
7 steps to protect your child
  Guard your child's information and be wary of credit offers.
Who uses a child's ID?
  Illegal immigrants, criminals and family members top the list of culprits.
Child's ID stolen? What to do
  Start by making sure you get a police report.
State laws to protect child's ID
  A look at what some states are doing to fight against child identity theft.
Child ID theft: A victim's story
  Gabriel Jimenez's identity was stolen when he was 12. He's been fighting it for 12 years.
Create a news alert for "identity theft"
-- Posted: Jan. 3, 2007
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