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  • Liz Lindsay

Child Identity Theft Cost Families $918M in 2021

One recent study estimates that 42 million U.S. adults were affected by identity fraud last year, costing them $52 billion. However, even more alarming the study found that 1 out of every 50 children in America had been the victim of an identity theft, while 1 in 45 had been hit by a data breach.

Losses stemming from these incidents amounted to $737 per family, although overall losses added up to $918 million. Families took — on average — 13 hours to resolve these incidents, longer than the average for adult victims.

The study also concluded that a majority of child-focused identity fraud is committed by someone close to home, with 73% of victims knowing the perpetrators. In these cases, the scammer is often a parent’s partner, relative or family friend with access to the child’s social media login information, which let them access other accounts that use the same password. In other cases, bad actors exploit personal relationships to get children to turn over personal information and then leverage it to access their accounts.

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