Flood-Related ID Theft Scam Targets Kids

September 20, 2013

DENVER – Individuals seeking assistance at a Longmont Disaster Relief Center reported being contacted by telephone and offered free or reduced university education for the children of the house because they had been a victim of the Northern Colorado floods.

Callers requested the children's Social Security numbers and other personal information to get the fund set up.

The BBB advises anyone who receives the same or similar phone call to simply hang up. Given the nature of the call and the information sought, the BBB believes the callers are identity thieves. The BBB is also concerned these callers are targeting the Hispanic community as those who reported the scam were Spanish speakers.

Thankfully, no one who reported receiving the call cooperated with the caller by giving their children’s personal information.

Child identity theft is a growing problem. As a parent, you can better protect your child’s identity by:

· Safeguarding your child’s personal information. Keep your child’s personally identifiable information, such as his or her Social Security card, date of birth and birth certificate, in a secure spot. Share your child’s Social Security number only when you know and trust the other party.

· Monitoring your child’s credit report. As soon as you get your child’s social security card you should start monitoring his or her report. www.annualcreditreport.com allows one free credit report a year for each credit-reporting agency.

· Keeping anti-virus software updated. Some savvy thieves create viruses designed to search computers for documents containing your child’s Social Security number.

· Safely disposing of personal documents. Shred all papers that include your child’s personal information before you throw them out. Delete computer files that you no longer need, and empty your online trash or recycle bin.

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