More than one million children in the US fell victim to identity fraud in 2017, an American advisory firm has said in a report.
Javelin Strategy & Research, a research-based advisory firm that offers consulting business, said on Tuesday that about 39 per cent of children became victims of fraud, compared with 19 per cent of notified adults in 2017.
It caused total losses of $2.6 billion and over $540 million in out-of-pocket costs to families, Xinhua news agency reported citing the report.
More than 60 per cent of child identity fraud victims personally knew the perpetrator while only seven per cent of adult victims of fraud knew their victimizer, the company said by referring to statistics from its online survey of 5,000 adults in 2017.
Two-thirds of the children were under the age of eight and many of the perpetrators had legitimate access to the personal information of victims, it said.
The advisory firm found that minors bullied online were over nine times more likely to be victims of fraud than those who were not.
“In many cases, fraud and bullying are not perpetrated by the same individual but arise from the same underlying vulnerabilities,” said Al Pascual, senior vice president of research and head of fraud and security at the company.
On average, fraudsters were able to steal $2,303 when they misused the identity of a minor, more than twice the fraud amount for adult victims. The families of child identity fraud victims paid an average of $541 out of pocket, according to the company.
It urged adults living with minors to protect private data and identity of their children in the digital world and keep a close watch on banking statements and their children’s online financial activities.