Reported By Regina Raccuglia
Children ages 5 and under are the victims of identity theft more than ever, according to the Better Business Bureau, and the thieves may be unexpected.
"It's unfair, it's cruel, but it's also the reality of the way the marketplace is today," said Kathleen Calligan of the BBB.
In the past few months, Calligan has taken in several cases of identity theft among toddlers. In almost every case, she said, the thief is a parent, caregiver or, in one Middle Tennessee case, a grandparent.
"There's such betrayal involved in that, so the victims that we've dealt with in these cases, it's much deeper and much more personal," Calligan said.
In almost all of these documented cases, the kids grow up not knowing they're identity theft victims until they get to a college campus. That's when they're denied credit, a cell phone or even an apartment.
"Dealing with it is not easy," said Calligan.
The victims have to file police reports, go through credit counseling and often hire an attorney. The best thing victims can do now, Calligan said, is to go to their credit bureau.
"If your child has a credit file, your child's already the victim of ID theft, and if they're not, that's a good thing," she said.
The BBB recommends when you check in with your credit bureau every year to have your child's credit checked as well.
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