ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo alerted parents, guardians and young adults about the startling truth regarding a growing trend of child identity theft, Wednesday.
The Governor stated that there has been a spike in children affected by this crime, often times without even realizing that they are victims.
"Child Identity theft is often a crime that is not realized until years later after damage has already been done to a stolen identity," Cuomo said. "New Yorkers need to be aware of this growing trend. I encourage parents and guardians to be proactive in their efforts to protect their children's identities and personal information."
Child identity theft allows criminals to forge a false identity through the use of a minor's personal information and social security number. Once the thief creates this false identity, he or she may use it to obtain credit cards, open new utility accounts, or make large purchases in the child's name.
This form of fraudulent identity is especially serious because it leaves the child victim with damaged credit that often remains undetected for years.
Earlier this year, Carnegie Mellon's CyLab reported that children are 51 times more likely than adults to be victims of identity theft.
However, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection is currently providing a list of precautions that families can take in order to make sure that their children's identities are not compromised.
The NYSDCP is urging the public to remain very vigilant in order to prevent children from becoming vulnerable to these crimes.
For more information on Governor Cuomo's warnings, or the New York State Division of Consumer Protection's list of precautions, visit governor.ny.gov or www.dos.ny.gov.