Scammers Stealing Kids’ Identities By Offering ‘Free Child Safety Kids”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning parents to be aware of ‘free child safety kits’ as scammers are using these kits to obtain sensitive information which is then used to steal kids’ identities.
According to the BBB, recent reports indicate an increase in this type of scam and parents have to be alert.
This scam works when a scammer contacts you over the phone or through email or social media saying they are providing free child safety kits to all the kids in your community. They will convince people by saying police and safety officials recommend parents keep this type on hand in case of an emergency like if your child goes missing. The kit should contain current photos of the child, height, weight, birthdate and fingerprints and a strand of their hard. Although this part is true, the ‘free child safety kits’ they are offering are not.
— BBB (@bbb_us) December 16, 2019
The scammer will then say that in order to receive your kit, you need to tell them sensitive information about your child which includes their full name, address, birth date, and Social Security or Social Insurance number. Some people even say that in order to get the kits, they will have to meet the child in person at their home which is a huge red alert warns BBB.
According to the BBB,
“If you give up your child’s personal information, they may become a victim of identity theft. Children are more likely to have their identities stolen than adults. Scammers know that people rarely, if ever, check their child’s credit report, which means they can get away with using a child’s name and information for years before being found out. In addition, children’s credit scores are a clean slate, making them an ideal target.”
The BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to this scam.
- Never reveal your child’s personal information to a stranger especially their Social Security number.
- Be aware of unsolicited offers. Legitimate businesses and organizations don’t contact you out of the blue without talking to your first.
- Make sure your child’s identity is protected. Check your child’s credit report annually for signs of fraud at annualcreditreport.com and make sure nothing seems out of the ordinary.
- Be aware of red flags, such as bills or invoices mailed to your home in your child’s name.