Children have started to become victims of identity theft at an alarming rate, according to one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies.
More than 1 million children, some as young as 12 years old, had their identities stolen in 2017, Experian wrote in a press release Monday. So, the company designated Sept. 1 — this Saturday — Child Identity Theft Awareness Day.
On Saturday, parents can sign up for a free child ID scan, and Experian will check to see if the child has a credit report. The agency will also provide parents with options if a child is an identity theft victim.
“A child’s SSN is like gold to identity thieves and clean slates for criminals to do damage over possibly a long period of time,” said Michael Bruemmer, vice president of consumer protection at Experian. “We are vigilant when it comes to protecting people’s identities, and hope Child Identity Theft Awareness Day rallies communities and parents to take action.”
According to Experian, more than half of child identity theft victims do not find out about their identity has been stolen until they apply for credit.