For identity thieves, kids are the perfect mark.
While adults make prime targets for their account balances, a child’s information, particularly their Social Security number, has even more value to scammers because it is a “clean slate” for opening new lines of credit before someone catches on, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
More than 1 million children were victims of identity theft or fraud in 2017, according to a report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Two-thirds of those affected were age 7 or younger.
Thieves were able to steal $2,303, on average, when they misused the identity of a minor, more than twice the average fraud amount for adults, Javelin said in the report released last year.