Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Knowby Robert P. Chappell Jr.
Child identity theft is the fastest growing type of identity theft, a crime that affects some 10 million people annually. Each year more than 500,000 children are affected by identity theft – half of them under age six. Countless other cases go unreported because the thief is a relative or parent of the victim. This devastating crime can wreak havoc on a child's future opportunities; it can be difficult to prove, and even harder to undo the damage that has been done. Child Identity Theft speaks to parents everywhere, the majority of whom have no idea that their children's identities have become such prime targets for thieves and criminals.
Here, a veteran law enforcement professional and expert in child identity theft offers parents, educators, law enforcement officials, and others who care for or work with children an inside look at the ways in which children are vulnerable to identity thieves. Chappell presents the vital information in a question and answer format, offering not just information about how child identity theft happens, but also how to prevent it from happening, and what to do if it does.
Among other things, Child Identity Theft explains:
·how a loophole in the national credit reporting system allows criminals to target innocent children for their creditworthiness;
·the variety of forms that child identity theft can take;
·the hidden techniques that thieves use to gain children's identities and personal information;
·which children are at a higher risk for identity theft; and
·how an increasing number of child identity thefts are perpetrated by parents and relatives.
This book reveals the reality of child identity theft and the steps we all should take to protect our children and ourselves. How many victimized children are out there out there waiting to be discovered? Has your child been victimized? One hopes not, but if so, this book will give you the tools to find out and get help.
The book describes the crime in detail, who is committing this crime, why children are targeted, what the role of social security numbers play in this type of theft, how people gain access to your child’s or grandchild’s information, and what parents and grandparents can do to help prevent victimization. It also discusses resources to help deal with the emotional trauma that affects the entire family.
According to Chappell, the best tip he can leave you with, both as an experienced law enforcement officer and author, is to take advantage of what the federal government mandates you have the right to receive, which is a free annual credit report. The free credit report is available for both adults and children and will quickly divulge credit that was obtained without permission.
Chappell says that his motto and guiding principle in writing Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know is 'education is the key to prevention.'
Children are 51 times more likely than adults to be victimized by identity theft, according to Robert P. Chappell Jr., who has relatives in Suffolk and who works for the Virginia State Police. Children make attractive targets for identity thieves, because they have no credit history and therefore good credit, in the eyes of credit issuers and the crime is likely to go undiscovered for many years.
Credit issuers have no way of verifying birth dates on credit applications, a loophole that needs to be closed, Chappell said.
“We need to educate parents on things to look for,” Chappell said.
He was inspired to write the book, “Child Identity Theft: What Every Parents Needs to Know,” when he returned to work from an Army Reserve deployment and noticed a significant change in the type of identity thefts compared to what had been occurring prior to his deployment, he said.
He began trying to research child identity theft and discovered a knowledge gap. Several bookstore chains and two public library systems turned up nothing on the topic. He tried an online search and came up with limited information focusing on child identity theft.
That’s when he set out to write his own book, which is being carried by 323 book chains across America and in 30 foreign countries.
“It definitely appears to be something that the book chains feel that readers would be interested in,” he said.
The book is written in question-and-answer format, so chapters are brief and do not require a lot of time investment.
“They can get a lot of information in a short period of time,” Chappell said.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
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Meet the Author
Robert P. Chappell, Jr., is a 27 year veteran law enforcement officer. In 1986 he was honored with the Virginia Chief’s of Police award for Valor in the Line of Duty. Chappell began his career with the Virginia State Police in 1987 where he has worked for the past 25 years. He has served as a trooper, Narcotics Special Agent, uniformed Sergeant, First Sergeant, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and currently as a Lieutenant with the Bureau of Field Operations. He is considered to be an expert in the field of Child Identity Theft. Chappell is also a veteran of the Armed Forces having served 25 years with the United States Army Reserve, during which time he was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Combat Action Badge, 101st Airborne Air Assault combat patch, 11th Armored Cavalry combat patch, and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Order of the Combat Spur. He retired in 2008 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
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