Cyber-attacks are on the rise and one of the most common cybercrimes is identity theft. In today’s world, being a victim of identity theft is simply one click away. A small mishap could make you the next victim of a hacker who is after your personal information.
When you’re a victim of this kind of crime, it’s best to deal with it as soon as possible since it can be costly especially if the thief goes undetected for long. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know whether you’re a victim of identity theft.
Here are some serious effects of identity theft on children.
1. Financial Loss
Children can also experience financial losses due to identity theft. Since this type of crime on children can go undetected for years, the effects can be devastating. Once they come of age, the child may discover they are severely in debt robbing them of the chance to have a normal life. The financial effect of identity theft could also cause other problems such as bad credit scores and trouble getting a loan.
2. Emotional Trauma
If the child is old enough to understand identity theft, it can be a traumatic experience. It’s difficult for anyone to learn that their identity is connected to a crime, let alone a child. Children who have been victims of identity theft need counseling to help them deal with the emotional effects.
3. Job Insecurity
Due to bad credit scores, it can be difficult for children to secure a job once they become adults. Some employers run a credit check on potential employees especially for jobs that involve handling money. This is to ensure that they can trust the applicant with making good financial choices. Therefore, a bad score can reflect badly on you and cost you the position.
4. Trust Issues
In some cases, child identity theft criminals are people familiar to the child such as a parent, guardian, or relative. This can break the trust and bond within the family and leave the child with serious trust issues. Even when they don’t know the perpetrator, they can feel betrayed for being a victim of identity theft making them distrust people.
5. Harassment By Scammers
Scammers who get a hold of your child’s personal information may contact them to make them disclose more information. Additionally, some hackers simply harass their victims to make their lives more difficult. Your child may receive endless calls and/or messages from these individuals which can cause psychological harm. Make sure you monitor your child’s phone and/social media accounts to check whether they’re getting strange communication.
6. Physical Strain
Identity theft can be stressful even for children. Knowing that someone has a hold of your personal information and they might use it to commit a crime or acquire money in your name is a lot for a child to deal with. This can have a negative effect on their physical health. Stress normally causes insomnia which leads to extreme fatigue and weakens immunity.
7. Legal Troubles
Someone may steal your child’s identity then use it to acquire money fraudulently or commit other cybercrimes. If their victims decide to recover their money, they will sue the person whose identity was stolen despite being victim themselves. Though the case can be challenged successfully, the lawsuit can run up a huge bill.