National

Aug 2, 2010 2:09 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

New ID theft targets kids' Social Security numbers

The latest form of identity theft doesn't depend on stealing your Social Security number. Now thieves are targeting your kid's number long before the little one even has a bank account.

Hundreds of online businesses are using computers to find dormant Social Security numbers - usually those assigned to children who don't use them - then selling those numbers to help people establish phony credit and run up huge debts they will never pay off.

Authorities say the scheme could pose a new threat to the nation's credit system.

The sellers get around the law by not referring to Social Security numbers. Instead, just as someone might pay for an escort service instead of a prostitute, they refer to CPNs - for credit profile, credit protection or credit privacy numbers.

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