March 15, 2006
Stealing a baby's identity, it turns out, is like, well, taking candy from a baby.

The Federal Trade Commission reports the number of identity theft complaints involving Americans 18 or younger nearly doubled in the past three years.

Why are identity thieves targeting kids? Because, the FTC says, it's easy.

Children have no credit history, so they have clean records. No one will know the child's identity has been stolen for years, since children won't be applying for loans or getting credit cards.

All an identity thief needs is the child's Social Security number, which almost all have for their parents' tax reporting purposes. The FTC says that number should be guarded as closely as any adult's private financial information.

Parents should keep an eye out for billing collection notices in a child's name or anything that indicates business is being done with a child's information