Power 2 Parent
Published: December 11, 2023

Need To Know: Why Children Are Targeted For Identity Theft And What To Do About It

By Rachel Caldwell, Power2Parent

By: Rachel Arroyo Caldwell | Power2Parent

In October 2023, the Clark County School District suffered a data breach impacting approximately 200,000 students. Both students and faculty were impacted.

According to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “cyber incidents are so prevalent [in K-12 schools], that, on average, there is more than one incident per school day.”

This breach is the second large breach of the Clark County School District in three years. The last was in August 2020. It impacted 44,000 individuals.

The hack of one of the nation’s largest school districts has parents asking how to tell if the personally identifiable information for their child has been used and what recourse parents have as a result of the breach.

First, let’s discuss the appeal of child identity theft-

Children typically do not have credit reports unless they are an authorized user on a parent’s account. Aura, a leading provider of online protection services, called child data essentially a ‘blank slate’ for thieves looking to open accounts or apply for loans due to the fact that credit agencies rarely verify the age of the applicant looking to open an account. Bad actors can use these new identities as a fresh start.

Additionally, parents do not typically monitor their child’s social security number for misuse, which means it could be abused over an extended period of time, according to Aura.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lists several indications that your child may be a victim of identity theft that include:

You receive a bill in your child’s name or calls from collection agencies.

Your child receives a letter from the IRS indicating taxes have not been paid.

Your child is denied for government benefits.

Your child is denied a student loan.

If you suspect your child’s identity has been stolen, the FTC recommends taking these actions immediately –

Contact the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Request the fraudulent accounts be removed from your child’s credit report. Place a freeze on their credit reports.[Equifax – 1 (800) 685-1111, Experian – 1 (888) 397-3742, TransUnion – 1 (888) 909-8872]

Contact the fraud department for each account that was opened in your child’s name. Report the fraud and close the account.

Report the identity theft to the FTC at IdentityTheft.gov. Create a recovery plan at IdentityTheft.gov.

Change account passwords and pins.

The State of Nevada also has an identity theft program to assist in interactions with creditors and law enforcement that can be applied for through your local law enforcement agency and the Office of the Attorney General. The Nevada Identity Theft Program can be reached at 1-775-684-1100.

The Clark County School District has established an assistance hotline to answer specific questions regarding the breach and its impacts. Parents can call 888-566-5512 between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.


Child Identity Theft: The Parental Guide to Protecting Your Kids

How to Protect Your Child From Identity Theft

Nevada Identity Theft Program