Identity Thieves Going After The Sucker Born A Minute Ago

from the they-don't-fight-back-as-much dept

As the often mis-attributed statement goes, "there's a sucker born every minute." With more adults getting educated on internet scams and frauds, it seems that some identity thieves have figured out that it's easier to go after the more recently born suckers and have increasingly started to target children. It comes as no surprise to find out that scamming identity thieves have no qualms about going after kids, but it is worth remembering if you do have kids. Many people have learned to carefully monitor their own info, but haven't even thought that their six year-old's name may be on half a dozen credit cards somewhere.


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  1.  
    identicon
    cjay, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Is it REALLY that easy to get a credit card?

    If the credit card companies get a Social Security Number and do a credit check, age is PLAINLY available. If they are issuing credit cards to 10 year olds they really need to examine their approval process. If they get burnt, they deserve it for having such a ridculous flaw in their approval process. Sadly the kid will probably spend the rest of his life trying to clear up a credit report that never should have happened if the CC companies had even the simplest of measures in place.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 10:16am

    of course its that easy, the cc companies dont giv

    about who applies for a card with them, they just care that you will buy expensive stuff on their overly high interest card and pay em a crapload of money...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Steve, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 10:22am

    Re: of course its that easy, the cc companies dont

    But that doesn't make any sense.

    If a card is being applied for in the name of a 10 year old it is most likely fraudulent, and the credit card company will never see any payments.

    It would seem to me that the CC companies would want to prevent as much of this as possible. Every time there is a fraudulent card issued they will lose money.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Can not say, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 10:30am

    Re: Is it REALLY that easy to get a credit card?

    If you need to ask this question you do not know what the secondary market (Store Credit cards) is like. Lets just say one of the biggest suppliers of these cards has quotas that are in the contract with the stores. Lets just say they will bend a few rules even if some information does not match what was give to them by the stores. Even SSN. They just provide credit to that ssn. Put a fraud alert on your credit and your childrens credit. That is what I have done.

     

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  5.  
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    RML (profile), Jan 26th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    Re: Is it REALLY that easy to get a credit card?

    It is that easy. My recently departed mother had $50K available credit across 5 card (two from the same lender) but had a monthly income of only $904. The companies don't look, they only hook. Fortunately, my mother knew how to manage her credit so the companies did not lose much. But, what logic supports opening lines of credit without doing a realistic background check?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    James Zane, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 11:01am

    Re: Is it REALLY that easy to get a credit card?

    Having worked for a credit card issuer for the las 6 years, it is not that easy to get a credit card. It is not in the issuer's interest to book fraudulent accounts. It increases their charge off rates, which in turn [along with other variables] makes the company look unprofitable. Plus there are numerous federal regulations preventing issuers from knowingly booking accounts from children. Those regulations are enforced by the regulators by reviewing and approving procedures in place with issuers. If you really do the research, you will find that stories of credit cards being issued in the name of children, dogs and the like based on SSN are completely inaccurate. Anyone conpany knowingly booking an account for a child or a dog is committing a punishable crime.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Sleeps, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 11:11am

    Re: of course its that easy, the cc companies dont

    When was the last time you applied for a credit card, and you were under 18?

    Being 18, and going away for university I thought I'd apply for a VISA card.. as a backup source of money :). It wasn't that simple to get it. I had to have a parent come with me, asking Qs about income and stuff like that. So it's not as simple as it seems.

    Speaking for Canada, at least

     

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  8.  
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    Jim Zandi, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 11:42am

    Social Security Numbers

    How many 12-year-olds know their SSN? Now how many *6-year-olds* know thier SSN? I think that the 12-year-old in the article this refers to is a very rare exception. I would bet you that most of the under-18 frauds are probably for 16 and 17 year olds.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Social Security Numbers

    Yeah even if a phisher ends up with a child's SSN or enough information to apply for a credit card with it, it will almost always be declined. If you are not 18, you cannot have a credit card.

    I will say that every once in a while a mistake can happen on the CC company end.

    I had a friend who applied for a CC at age 16 when she had a job. For some reason it was given to her and was valid.

    Unfortuantely for them, she maxed it out immediately and didn't pay a single payment. And since she was under 18, she wasn't punished because she shouldn't have had access to the card in the first place. The 'contract' wasn't legally binding without being 18 or parental consent or something. Her history was wiped clean and she kept all the stuff she bought with the card.

    The CC company was punished. Just as it should have been and should also be with all successful phishings.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Is it REALLY that easy to get a credit card?

    Dog Issued Credit Card
    Owner Sends In Pre-Approved Application As Joke
    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/money/2800173/detail.html

    SAN DIEGO -- A pug in Northern California would have purchased his doggie treats with plastic after being issued a credit card by mail.

    The dog, named Clifford, lives with his owner in Livermore, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area. Clifford's owner, Steve Borba, said he was tired of getting spam e-mails, so he signed up for an e-mail account using the name Clifford J. Dog. Eventually, a pre-approved credit card application arrived addressed to Clifford J. Dog, and Borba sent it in as a joke.

    "It asked for his mother's name. I put 'Pugsy Malone.' When it asked for a Social Security number, I put nine zeroes, and I even put that this was for a dog and not to send a credit card," Borba said.

    The credit card company issued Clifford a card despite the obvious warning on the application, Borba said. After the card arrived, Borba alerted the company of the error and the card was deactivated.

    Borba said that Clifford never got to use his credit line.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Colby, Jan 26th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Social Security Numbers

    NEW INFORMATION: Many major credit card companies have been reducing the number of cards issued. I think Congress is proposing a bill to crack down on outrageous consumer debt(Alan Greenspan I think commented on this last year...). http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2004/20040223/default.htm. This came after the recent bankruptcy bill, which was introduced because of the rise in bankruptcy filing rates. They realized that if you require a minimum monthly payment that would actually get the card paid off over time, there will be less cards issued. This is due to how they calculate debt to income ratios. The debt to income ratio is the determing factor in how much credit a person will be approved for. This means people will qualify for a credit amount that actually fits their realistic life-style. Bank of America was one of the first to do this, and I think there are others already following suit. My minimum payment increased about 125% two months ago with my Bank of America Platinum card.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Johannes Smith, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 5:44pm

    identity theft

    the earth population stole my stolen identity, and I'm pissed!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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