Identity theft is a terrible crime, but it’s even worse when the bad guys are members of your own family!
Recently a large security firm called I-D Analytics took a look at literally BILLIONS of credit applications. What they were looking for was evidence of Child Identity theft, or parents who were stealing their children’s identity. And they found it! According to the company’s data, about half-a-million children may be victims of identity theft by their own parents. It’s a growing problem. Parents get into money trouble, so they start applying for credit using their kid’s Social Security number. Next thing you know, they’ve ruined their kid’s credit too!
But I-D Analytics also found something they weren’t expecting. They found evidence that more than 2-million elderly people were also victims of identity theft, by their own children!
The numbers show that family identity theft is a way bigger deal than a lot of us realized. Most of us think of computer hackers or card skimmers when we think of identity theft, but the reality is that one out of every three cases of identity theft are committed by someone the victim is very close to. And that number may even be low because many victims either don’t notice the crime or don’t report it because they’re too embarrassed.
Identity theft experts say elderly parents are particularly at risk because they’re dependent on their kids. And, in some cases, adult children feel like they’re entitled to their parent’s money since they’ve been taking care of them. Whatever the reasoning, a crime is still a crime. So if you, or someone you know, is being taken advantage of, contact your local Administration on Aging. You can find them at AOA.gov.