Special Considerations for Identity Theft by a Family Member
Sporting Activities If it is discovered that the identity thief is a parent, friend, or relative,
this can be a very complicated situation and calling the police can
Parents are often asked to show a copy of a birth certificate and/or
be a sensitive topic. Ultimately, it is up to the parent or guardian
Social Security card in order for their children to participate in after
protecting the rights of the minor (or the adult who was victimized
school sports. We caution that this measure opens up the possibility
as a child) to make the decision to report the theft. Identity theft is a
for identity theft, and recommend the following:
crime and a police report should be filed. However, be aware that law
• Find out if the coach has had a criminal and financial background enforcement might be reluctant to get involved. Many people falsely
check done by an independent source. For liability reasons, this believe this falls under the jurisdiction of family law, so the victim or
should be a standard practice. their advocate must be prepared to insist that it be recognized as the
• If you must turn in copies of birth certificates and/or Social Security criminal offense that it is: identity theft and financial fraud.
cards, show them to the coach and then place them in a sealed
envelope and ensure that they will be stored in a secure, locked
area accessible only by the coach. Ask that the papers be returned Next Steps
unopened after the season has ended, unless you are notified in
writing that there is a need to show them to other people. We recognize the sensitive nature of minor identity theft and can offer
in-depth support for any of your questions or concerns. Our specialists
are here to help you safeguard your child’s identity and are committed
The Adult Victim of Minor Identity Theft to answering your questions, regardless of whether an identity theft has
occurred. We can:
Quite frequently, people who were victimized as children do not find • Investigate items that may be related to your child’s Social
out about it until they are adults. These victims typically find out about Security number and help you determine if they are fraudulent
the theft in the same ways as adult victims. They: in nature.
• Are denied credit, mortgage, or loan for a vehicle or college tuition • Contact the three national credit repositories to determine if there
are any files or reports associated with your child’s SSN.
• Are unable to open a bank or checking account
• Receive collection notices in the mail or by telephone This is the type of information that must be fully documented in the
• Are denied tenancy, utility, or phone service event an investigation is needed for an identity theft case. Additionally,
• Are denied driver’s license renewal if you are an adult who has just discovered you were a victim of minor
identity theft, Licensed Investigators can provide you the same level of
• Are discharged from a job or continually and unexplainably denied
service as any adult victim while continuing to recognize the special
employment circumstances of the adult/minor victim.
• Are quoted higher than normal insurance rates
• Have been receiving bills or credit cards they never requested If you suspect minor identity theft has occurred, please call the number listed
• Are notified by law enforcement investigating a case on the cover letter for this packet and ask to speak to a Licensed Investigator.
They can help you determine the risk level and, if necessary, take action.
• Are arrested for a crime they didn’t commit
• Are denied SSI or welfare services A service of the Licensed Investigators of Kroll Fraud Solutions
These materials are derived from the research and discovery activities of Kroll’s Fraud Solutions’ Fraud Specialists and Licensed
Investigators, and have been gathered from personal, historical, and aggregated experience performing specialized restoration
services on behalf of Identity Theft victims. While believed to be accurate, these materials do not constitute legal advice, and are not
guaranteed to be correct, complete or up-to-date. No part of this document may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in Assistance on how to deter, identify, and restore the
a retrieval system, or translated into a language or computer language, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, optical,
chemical, manual or otherwise, without the express written consent of Kroll Fraud Solutions. damage done by theft of a Minor’s Identity
These materials are provided for informational purposes only.
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What is Minor Identity Theft? Signs of Minor Identity Theft Preventative Measures
Minor identity theft occurs when a child’s personal identifying information Normally, a parent or guardian first discovers the identity theft of the • Obtaining a photo identification or passport for your child can
(PII) is used by another individual for personal or financial gain. child. Signs of possible victimization occur in many different ways, and help establish their identity in the event it is ever questioned.
There are essentially two types of victims: minor children and adults often mirror adult identity theft clues, depending upon the victim’s age • Don’t allow children to carry their Social Security cards.
who determine they were victimized as minors. According to the when the crime is found out. Some of the most common include: • Memorize the child’s SSN. Do not carry a Social Security card
Federal Trade Commission, over 20,000 children were victims of • Being denied credit cards, loans, mortgages, or college aid due to or any personal documentation containing the SSN for your child
identity theft in 2008, a 78.8 percent increase from 2006. Children are
a poor credit rating (only discovered as an adult) unless you need the items in the immediate future.
targets because they have no credit histories and because thieves
know they can generally get away with the crime for years since it is • Being denied employment, Social Security or welfare benefits, or • If your health insurance cards include your child’s SSN, request
usually not detected until the person is old enough to establish credit. utility services due to existing records (only discovered as an adult) that your insurance company provide a new card that does not
• Being denied a driver’s license contain the number.
There are two different ways that an identity thief can use a minor’s • Receiving an “Explanation of Benefits” from a medical insurer • Do not provide your child’s SSN unless there is a valid request for
information. First, a thief uses the minor’s name and Social Security without having sought medical treatment this information. Pediatrician’s offices and schools are sometimes
number (SSN) in combination with a fraudulent address and date targets for identity thieves. Confirm that the physician or school is
• Unsolicited credit card offers
of birth to apply for credit. Unfortunately, the fraudulent age of the taking proper precautions in safeguarding your child’s information.
applicant then becomes “official” with the first credit application (i.e., • Credit card bills or account statements addressed to the minor
• Teach children not to give out personal information over the phone
if the first application indicates the applicant is 24, the credit agencies • Collection notices addressed to the minor or on the internet. If a website seems questionable, it is best to
assume that person is 24 until a dispute is filed and proven). Second, • Discovering some type of criminal activity related to the minor avoid it. Companies can be verified with the Better Business Bureau
a thief uses the minor’s SSN in combination with his or her own name or the State Attorney General’s office if any concerns arise.
• Discovering paperwork kept by a spouse, family member, or friend
and date of birth. Both are versions of Synthetic Identity Theft, one of
indicating they have stolen the child’s identity (ONLY in cases of • Do not ignore junk mail. If your child begins receiving credit card
the most difficult types of identity theft to detect.
parental identity theft) promotions or other solicitations in his or her own name, it could
be an indication that a theft has occurred.
• Have any magazine subscription placed in your name and not the
child’s. This will help limit your child’s name from being added to
any mailing lists.
• Be sure to shred all paperwork that contains sensitive information
before throwing it away.
• Use a locked mailbox to send and receive all mail; do not leave
mail unattended for pickup in an out box.
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