Taking Back the ID

Child's play

Hackers using minors' PII

Creative but unscrupulous criminals aren't above stealing personally identifiable information of children. Here's how to protect the kids and their parents. Also, how the "telephone denial-of-service" scam drains your financial accounts and ways to stop them.

Winnie Cats grew up in a wonderful home, attended excellent schools, obtained high marks and now was ready to apply for scholarships in the hope of attending a major university that offered degrees in cybersecurity. Her high school adviser told her to also apply for student loans. She and her parents were shocked when Winnie received a letter stating that she was denied a student loan because she had dismal credit. Winnie's parents immediately contacted the government loan agency to explore the problem. They were told that Winnie's Social Security number (SNN) was recently used in the process to obtain a mortgage on a house in another state. One year later the property was foreclosed because of non-payment on the loan. As a result, Winnie's credit took a heavy hit. She was a victim of child identity theft. Though this story is fictional, versions of it are happening everywhere.


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