March 2, 2021
Re: Child Identity Theft
This week is National Consumer Protection Week (“NCPW”). Many times, NCPW focuses on those engaged in consumer transactions, which don’t ordinarily include kids. However, this year we are making a dedicated effort to help protect a vulnerable population when it comes to identity theft – kids!
Child identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently uses a child’s identity to fraudulently open accounts or receive benefits. The imposter may be a family member, friend or a stranger and may use the child’s name and Social Security number to open new accounts for cell phones, utilities, credit cards and even mortgages.
Imposters may get away with using a child's identity for years because children typically do not try to check or access credit. As a result, child identity theft usually is not discovered until the child applies for college financial aid, a car loan or employment.
To help combat this problem, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has launched a video aimed at parents to understand what a child security freeze is and how to place a freeze. The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y10sEjOhj8w&feature=youtu.be.
We hope that you will share this video with parents in your district through whatever means you feel are appropriate. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We appreciate you helping to protect children from identity theft.
Ohio Attorney General
Melissa S. Smith
Director of Consumer Education