Proposed Rule That Could Help Kids Replace Stolen Social Security Numbers


Every child that is born in the United States is granted a Social Security number. Certain processes, people that are born outside of the United States can also obtain one. If these are children, and they have come in with their parents, their parents typically keep their Social Security card safe. They will often memorize the number writing it down somewhere in case the card is ever lost. The same is true for kids in the US that have likely never seen their Social Security card, packed away safely in some corner of their home. However, protecting the card is not going to protect anyone that has had their Social Security number stolen. There are literally thousands of them that are stolen and used by criminals for improper reasons. There is a proposed rule that could actually help children replace social security numbers that have been stolen. Let’s discuss what that proposed rule is and how it can benefit kids of all ages that have had theirs stolen recently.

An Overview Of Identity Theft

Identity theft has become more rampant in recent years. It has crescendoed because of everyone’s access to the Internet. People are placing more of their information online than ever before. Although most of this is protected secured servers, there are always going to be hackers that can get into large databases of information. Some of that information will contain the Social Security numbers of children. When these are stolen, they can be used for the wrong reasons. People will actually do illegal things with them, and parents may find authorities at their doorstep looking for someone that has committed a crime, only to realize that the Social Security number belongs to a small child.

How To Prevent This Type Of Theft From Occurring

To prevent this from happening, it is always better to not ever use a Social Security card online if possible. There are times when you will need to do so such as applying for a job, or applying for a loan, but this does not apply to children in most cases. Sometimes the Social Security number will be on a database with a school, or perhaps a business where the child is getting some type of extracurricular help. Regardless of how it got there, if it has been digitized, this means that hackers will be able to potentially extract this information. If it does occur, this rule will make it possible for those that have experienced the theft of their Social Security number to get it back very quickly.

How Will This Will Make It Easier For Children?

It is because children are such alluring targets for criminals that more of them than ever before are losing them to criminal activity. Some people have written books on how to prevent this from happening, books that tell parents what they need to know to prevent this theft using many different strategies. By simply showing that the child was recently disadvantaged, specifically by an unknown person using their Social Security number and identity, as of 2013, the Social Security Administration may allow certain children to get new numbers because of the circumstances. If you think about it, if they are able to cancel those numbers, and then provide the children with new numbers, then the problem will be eliminated. Criminals using the numbers that are no longer functional will not be able to do what they need to do and the child will be free from this disadvantage. This proposal requires the parents to show that the Social Security card was stolen in some way, was misused by an identifiable third-party, or that the number was publicly disclosed inadvertently. They would not have to show, however, that the child had experienced any harm at all. Essentially, this is a way of cutting off the ability of a criminal that may or may not use that Social Security number, before they have a chance to in the future.

An Example Of How This Would Be Beneficial

There are many examples of how this has been detrimental for children, as well as their parents, when a child’s Social Security card is stolen. A mother reported that her daughter’s Social Security number was used in order to file a tax return that was fraudulent. Regardless of the intent on doing so, the person using their number was obviously not the child who, at the age of five, would obviously not be submitting any type of tax return. Likewise, the child’s credit would be damaged long before she would start to build it, and therefore issuing a new number would be the most appropriate decision to make.

Are There Any People Opposed To This?

Despite the fact that the Justice Department, along with the FTC, support the idea, there are those that believe that this should not occur for children. They base this assertion upon the fact that until a child is old enough to have a job, they would not be able to experience any type of credit related damage. However, it is looking more promising for this to go through. It seems to be the most common sense decision. Once it becomes enacted, any child that has lost their Social Security number, or if it has been used for fraudulent means, will be issued a new one immediately.

Although this would seem like common sense, there seems to be some hesitation in allowing this to go through. This proposal eliminates so many problems. With identity theft becoming worse than ever before, and with children being victimized because of these criminals stealing their Social Security numbers, it is the best decision that could be made. It will circumvent their ability to use these numbers which will be in active. Hopefully this will become standard practice so that children are protected long before they will ever have a great need to use their Social Security number. If all it takes is printing out several thousand extra numbers every year, it seems to be the most logical decision to make.

Speak Your Mind