If you have any interest in current affairs then you will most likely already know that the number of cases of identity theft being reported is on the increase.
You may be forgiven for believing that this is a crime that only targets adults – after all, the adult population consists of those individuals most likely to have enough money to interest a fraudster.
However, adults often have heavy financial burdens which means less than perfect credit scores.
Additionally, young adults are more likely to be aware of the risks of identity theft and at least partially informed as to how to minimise their exposure to it.
This may explain why some identity thieves have now switched their focus to targeting teenagers.
Whilst they may not have huge incomes, they do typically have perfect credit scores which makes them extremely vulnerable to crimes such as credit card fraud.
Another reason why identity theft may increasing amongst teenagers is due to the rise of social networking sites.
The meteoric rise in the popularity of social sites, such as Facebook, has led to a large number of shady characters joining, lurking in the background, hoping to ensnare a victim.
Not only are there spammers, sending out links and bulletins to unsavoury content, but there are also scammers and identity thieves all across these sites.
Whilst such criminals may be everywhere on the more popular social sites they are, thankfully, only a small proportion of the online community.
They do, however, realise that children are generally more trusting than adults and so are more likely to be less security minded, especially when it comes to their personal details.
Some reasons why kids may be easy targets on social sites are –
- the use of easy to guess passwords on their accounts
- not realising the very real dangers of sharing personal details with strangers
- needing to fit in and so they tell their peer group their life stories
- lack of knowledge about identity theft which leads to clicking of phishing links in emails
Whatever age your child is, it is worth considering the above.
Many kids use social networking sites both with, and without, their parent’s knowledge.
Make sure they understand that there are risks online, especially on these types of site, and help them stay safe and keep their identity.