Identity thieves want your kids!

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You want to protect your kids from every danger. You teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, how to dial 911, and never to talk to strangers. Now there's a new danger to include with those cardinal rules: identity theft. It's a new kind of kidnapping. Every year 400,000 children fall victim and the crime can go unnoticed for years.

"By using a child's identity they're able to put a different date of birth, they're changing addresses so that parents never even know this is happening to their children," Identity Theft Specialist Yvonne Sanders said.

There are simple ways to keep your children safe.
Operational failure' misplaced records for 25 million kids... or was it theft?
UK data-loss scandal could force banks to close accounts

U.K. banks could be forced to close the accounts of all child benefit claimants affected by an HMRC "operational failure" that resulted in the loss of 25 million records stored on discs, a Gartner analyst has warned. Its loss, moreover, proves to at least one fraud expert that that the British government can't be trusted with biometric information, and that the U.K. national ID scheme is untenable.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling admitted that discs containing the records of up to 25 million child benefit claimants were lost in transit to the government watchdogs at the National Audit Office. The lost discs were password-protected but not encrypted, and included bank details and national identity numbers.

Fraud expert and world renowned former con artist Frank Abagnale isn't buying the idea that the data just fell of a truck, so to speak.

"It was not just a mistake. I truly believe that someone paid for information to be stolen. It's what happens all the time, that someone acted in collusion with somebody else to steal this data," said Abagnale, author of Catch Me If You Can and a fraud expert who has worked extensively for the FBI over the past 32 years. more

Students and Social Networking sites: Favorite targets... for thieves!

Here are 10 tips (and warnings) to keep in mind -REMEMBER: The holidays are peak season for thieves...

1. Monitor bank, credit card and loan statements. If you are expecting a bill that doesn't come, contact your account holder immediately. If you see any unexpected spikes in your interest rates, contact your creditor. Unexpected interest rate spikes can be a tip off that erroneous information is contaminating your credit report. Watch for withdrawals or charges you did not make!

2. Be watchful of people lurking nearby while using ATMs, credit cards, checks and your computer. Thieves will often hover near you to steal account and PIN numbers; they are trained to memorize credit card and account numbers.

3. Always delete any personal information and passwords you may have entered into a shared computer. You never know who is going to be using it next and you never know if the computer is already infected with key-logging spy ware that collects bits of information on you with every stroke you make on the keyboard.

4. Make sure all correspondence mailed to you has your correct name and address. If there are name variations, contact the sender and ask why you are receiving it. When throwing out documents that contain personal information...SHRED them into small pieces. MORE

Is your child still in diapers and already in debt?

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