Identity thieves see job seekers, children as lucrative targets

Monday, April 7th, 2014 By

idenity theft, victime or perpetrator?

Identity thieves, who victimized nearly 11 million credit card holders in 2009, are targeting more job seekers and children. Image: Thinkstock

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Nearly 11 million credit card holders each year are victims of identity theft. While everyone is vulnerable, trends show that identity thieves are increasingly targeting children and job seekers.

Ingenious identity theft scams

Victims of identity theft in the U.S. lost an average of $4,840 in 2009, according to Javelin Strategy and Research. New forms of identity theft are constantly emerging. Claudia Buck at the Sacramento Bee reports that three men were busted in Los Angeles last week for using electronic gadgets to scan credit card numbers at numerous gas station pumps. Buck writes that the state government in California has been warning about phony e-mails telling taxpayers their electronic tax payments did not go through. Identity theft is on the rise in every state, and thieves spend a lot of energy to coming up with the next scam.

Employers don’t need personal information

In the moribund job market, identity thieves see an opportunity to kick people while they’re down. Alison Doyat at writes that identity thieves are adept at creating websites that look like  legitimate companies or agencies. An obvious red flag is raised if an online entity asks for personal data other than contact information at the beginning of the application process. Other red flags include ads promoting pay that seems too high for the job or offering payment in cash. Job seekers posting resumes at online career sites should never include Social Security numbers, birth dates or drivers license numbers.

Things parents should know

Identity thieves make big money exploiting children. Modern Mom reports that because children have a clean credit history, they’re lucrative targets. Children or parents commonly don’t discover they have been victimized until years later, when the kid applies for a credit card. Banks and the Social Security Administration do not give out birth dates, so credit reporting firms can’t verify age. Identity thieves often open lines of credit with a child’s identity when a parent loses a wallet or purse holding personal data like a child’s Social Security card. The easiest way to see if a child’s identity has been stolen is to request a credit report. No credit report on file means they’re safe … for the time being.

Previous Article

« $6,500 Homebuyer Tax Credit Officially Extended to 2010

Congress today passed a bill that extends the homebuyer tax credit to 2010. There are some big changes and new exemptions... Image from Flickr.
Next Article

CARD Act could strip stay-at-home partners of financial identity »

The consumer-protection CARD Act is supposed to protect consumers, but some stay-at-home spouses hit snags because they can't prove income. Credit Card Applications

Other recent posts by bryanh

Put an End to the Worry with No Credit Check Payday Loans

When you are low on cash it may seem that there is nowhere to turn. No credit check payday loans are available through reputable sites to get you through.

Keep Your Balance with a Payday Loan

I’m short of cash until payday and I’ve got a real balancing act going on. I don’t have time to work on a household budget spreadsheet. I need cash today...

Ways to Find Quick Cash by Cutting Back on Gas Costs

Finding quick cash in today's economy has to be targeted towards scrutinizing monthly bills, like gas costs.