Juvenile Victimization in Identity Theft
Identity theft is continuously growing crime, and over the past several years we have seen a rise in the victimization of juveniles in the horrendous crime. Three important terms which are addressed in this research (that are important to know and understand) are identity theft, juvenile, and victimization. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, identity theft is defined as “the unauthorized use or attempted use of existing accounts, or unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information to open a new account or for other fraudulent purposes (Harrell, 2013).” Juvenile refers to children, typically persons under the age of 18. Victimization means to make victim of someone or to harm or commit a crime against someone. It is important to understand these terms to understand the full purpose of the following research of juvenile victimization in identity theft (Woods, 2014).
According to news reports and recent studies, children are at higher risk for identity theft than adults, infants and youth have become greater targets to criminals in the growing trends of this catastrophic crime. Identity theft is a crime of which is difficult for an adult to recover from and get their life back after falling victim, much less an infant, child, or even teenager.
In an article released through the Juvenile Justice Exchange states, “kids under the age of 18 are 51 times more likely to become victims of identity theft than their parents” (Duda, 2011). Juveniles make such tempting target because of the high possibility that the theft may go unknown for years. Just as for adults, juvenile identity theft can have lasting effects (sometimes even greater effects). If the theft goes for years unknown and undetected, the effects can take a toll for many years after the discovery of falling victim. Many youth discover their victimization after high school as they are denied student loans, jobs or living space because of the financial history they did not create. There are a few areas lacking safeguards within the Social Security system along with the high technology of the time and of which youth have access to, all creating a great risk of anyone becoming a victim (Duda, 2011).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this research is to present the growing trend to families and make parents more aware of the crime of which their children could become victim of unknowingly for years. It is important that parents and children alike understand this problem and are educated in ways to protect themselves and their identities, as well as what they need to do if they do become victim.
There are many steps of which parents are recommended to do to protect the identity of their children including: Not carrying their children’s social security cards, be discriminating when asked for a child’s personal information and cautious in giving it, shred any/all documents with any personal identifying...