Criminals have found a new way to reap the benefits of exploiting someone else’s stolen identity with a smaller chance of their getting caught. The new method criminals are using to get away with identity theft is by creating a synthetic identity. A synthetic identity is created when portions of accurate, but stolen information, are complied with fake, made up information to form an identity that is passable.
It turns out that criminals are targeting infants and children, in particular, to create these synthetic identities. Most youth under the age of eighteen do not have a credit record which makes it easier for the criminals to create a false identity using portions of the victim’s information, like a Social Security number. This is a reason why you should keep an eye on your child’s credit report. If you notice anything strange, like a credit card in your young child’s name, you should immediately freeze their credit report to prevent further damage.
But the thing is, criminals are not only targeting your children, they are targeting small businesses, too. Businesses have an identifying number, like a Social Security number, called an EIN, an employer ID number. When a criminal gets their hands on this number, it can be devastating to a small business. They can create fraudulent W-2s with the EIN and other synthetic identities they’ve created to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax refunds.
Although there is no way to completely prevent identity theft, there are ways to make your children and your business smaller targets. As for your children, we recommend that you keep an eye on their credit report, checking it at least semi-annually. If you notice anything odd, freeze their credit immediately and give LibertyID a call to make sure things are ok. As a Family Plan member, your children are covered, if they are under the age of twenty-five.
As for small business owners, treat your EIN like you do your Social Security number. Don’t hand it out willy-nilly. If the wrong person gets ahold of it, your business could be affected, which will affect your family, too. Next, we recommend that you keep up with your state filings. Criminals can access information that determines if a business is up to date with their filings. If your business isn’t, it offers a great opportunity for the criminal to form fraudulent filings for their benefit.
The bottom line is that there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*Extended families – primary individual, their spouse/partner, both sets of parents (including those that have been deceased for up to a year), and all children under the age of 25