A two year old has credit card debt and declared bankruptcy, a nine year old has defaulted on utility bills, and a teenager has $750,000 in debt. The most interesting portion of the report is the ability of ID thieves to ‘guess’ birth date. It also demonstrates a case (and how it occurs) of a child born into a compromised social security number.
According to the Utah Attorney General’s Office, the majority of Social Security Number (SSN) theft is due to illegal immigrants (note: this report does NOT indicate whether or not the thieves are illegal immigrants). Other SSN thieves include deadbeat parents using their child’s (or other stolen SSN) to avoid wage garnishment, fugitives avoiding capture, and ‘traditional’ ID thieves.
Be aware that the credit check they suggest only shows if thieves have used the number for credit. If the number is used for employment or medical services, the breach still carries serious and destructive (including potentially life-threatening) implications. This again demonstrates how critical employer (through such means as E-Verify) and credit issuer identity verification of applicants is to preventing much of the identity theft and virtually eliminating child ID theft.
The report also demonstrates that once a number is stolen the are frequently sold to multiple buyers (thus several individuals will use the number). The spread of a stolen or generated number is also exemplified by this report (including the lack of assistance for the victim):
Note: I believe the CNN report indicates that SS benefits were to be granted to illegal immigrants. That was later voted down when the 2007 amnesty bill failed.
For more on the identity theft issue, click here.