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1M Firsttime Borrowers Discover Their Identity Stolen
OSTA MESA, Calif – Aug. 27, 201 – Imagine being a young adult trying to open a credit card or get a college loan, only to learn that your identity was stolen years earlier as a child. This scenario is becoming increasingly common.
In fact, more than 1 million children were victims of identity theft in 2017. To help parents take an important first step in protecting their children, Experian® is offering a free, one-time Child ID Scan, a service that can detect possible child identity theft and fraud.
The free scan checks if the Social Security number (SSN) for a child (under age 18) is associated with an Experian credit file. If a credit file is found, Experian's Fraud Resolution team will assist the parent or legal guardian with the next steps.
To use Experian's free Child ID Scan, go to experian.com/childscan. For comprehensive, continued child identity monitoring, Experian IdentityWorks offers a Family Plan that monitors two adults and up to 10 children.
"A child's SSN is like gold to identity thieves and a clean slate for criminals to do damage over possibly a long period of time," says 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. Our free service and educational content can be key resources, but we urge parents to be vigilant on an ongoing basis. If they aren't, the consequences for their children can be damaging and long-term."
Victims of child identity theft experience serious adult challenges – sometimes lasting years. A recent Experian survey found that 59 percent of survey respondents had their credit report and credit score negatively impacted, while 52 percent were denied credit.
More than one-third (34 percent) of victims surveyed said it cost them money to fix the issue, and almost 20 percent suffered relationship issues.
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