Stealing From Our Kids

   By drodriguez  Sep 26, 2010

With many people finding themselves in tough financial times it is not surprising to hear stories of people doing some pretty outlandish things to stay afloat.  Something that is becoming more and more common is parents stealing their own child’s identity in order to receive credit lines and loans.  Parents that have been caught doing this have received more leniency in court than someone who steals a strangers identity because of the family ties.

A recent report from CNN discusses the growing trend and how it effects the children who are after all, innocent victims. According to Robert Siciliano, CEO of, a parent can do almost anything from applying for a credit card to taking a loan out for a house if they have their child’s social security number since credit checks do not currently verify a person’s age.  

When parents do this they are putting their children’s financial futures in jeopardy.  One college student, who spoke with CNN anonymously, found out as an adult that her father had taken out education loans under her name when she was just a child.  She discusses how this has hindered her success as an adult.  She says, “My credit is really bad now.  I’ve had to have a co-signer for every apartment I’ve ever had, I can’t get a credit card and getting any other loans or even a car is going to be very hard.”  

She has not turned her father in to authorities because she believes it would be too much of an emotional burden to bare. Unfortunately, most parents are never caught because of this very reason.  Siciliano talks about how stealing a child’s identity usually starts when parents find themselves in a desperate situation, like putting a utility bill under their child’s name to keep the electricity from being shut off.  But soon the parent realizes they can use their child’s identity to purchase just about anything.  

New statistics also show parents are turning to their grown children more and more in order to receive loans.  People between the ages of 21 and 28 who are co-signers of their parent’s auto loans has risen by 30 percent over the last two years at  Parents find it beneficial to use their child’s untarnished credit rating rather than their own.  

What do you think of the latest reports that parents are using their children’s identities to take out loans and credit lines?

What do you think should be done about this?

Make a Comment

tngal39 by tngal39 | Bristol, TN
Jan 06, 2011

I would never do that to my kids. That is just plain out wrong, I know that theres some out there that would stoop that low to do that but i would not. these kids need room to get things on their own and worry about their mistakes not your own if you have flaws then worry about yours and not trying to ruine your kids that is financial Abuse to them.

SZYmom by SZYmom | Douglas, MA
Nov 12, 2010

Wow, I had never realized that this was such a common thing. I remember seeing a news story a few years ago about a man that had done this to his son. I thought to myself at the time what a terrible thing for him to have done to his own child. But I had thought that this was an isolated incident. I can't believe the number of people on here that have had this happen to them personally, or know of a person who was a victim of such a thing. I definetly think that this is a form of abuse! Anyone that would steal someones identity, shame on you. And if you steal your own childs identity, then double the shame on you.

musicmomma by musicmomma | LONG VALLEY, NJ
Nov 02, 2010

This happened to my husband! My mother-in-law has the same initials and took out a credit card in his name. UGH! Needless to say...we don't have a very good relationship with her....and it took a while to get her late and non-payment records off of his credit report! The nerve!!!!

jenmeehan11 by jenmeehan11 | Middletown, OH
Nov 02, 2010

This is just terrible. I didn't realize it was such a common thing. I would never do that to my kids.

AnnaJane by AnnaJane | Lake Charles, LA
Oct 16, 2010

This is a form of abuse. It is termed Financial Abuse.

dejanaay by dejanaay | Philadelphia, PA
Oct 13, 2010

This is a big issue, as an adult, you would want what is best for your children. This is going on all the time and I think that their should be some type of law to protect your children's identity. I have tried in the past to check my children's credit report and I was told that it was not possible. I don't think that it is fair to the children at all. The Credit agencies should at least give the parents the option. Sending a notarize request for a childs credit report, or even asking the parents to use their social security info when checking their childs credit. As adults we experience theft or we may either mis-place information or loose them. If someone other than the parent should get a hold of the documents, it gives them alll the opportunity to use the information freely.

josmommy by josmommy | toledo, OH
Oct 11, 2010

dispicable these people who do that to their own kids should do some thinking before they screw with someone elses future

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Oct 06, 2010

I've heard of this years and years ago. Such a sad situation, it's something I could never do. Credit checks, etc should include the age of the person or something else to alert a red flag to the companies.

elenacala by elenacala | SPRINGVILLE, UT
Oct 04, 2010

Seriously who would do this to thier kid, and then turn around and pretend that they love them or care. Love is shown through actions, and to ruin your whole childs future and that of your future grandkids becuase you can't be fiscally responsible with your own money is beyond reprehensible. It makes me sick, and I hope more parents are caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Its bad enough being a thief, but to be a thief from your own flesh and blood, it makes my skin crawl. There should be tougher laws, to help prevent more parents from doing this to thier innocent kids.

mina77 by mina77 | STONE MTN, GA
Oct 04, 2010

My inlaws used my husbands identity (he is a Jr, so it was "easy") and ran up his credit.

Purplemommi by Purplemommi | MECHANICSVLLE, VA
Oct 04, 2010

That's really selfish and sad. I have 4kids and would never dream of screwing up their futures for my own selfish needs. That's called bad parenting.

sanvis by sanvis | SAINT PAUL, MN
Oct 04, 2010

I would want to give my children and not steal from them....what example are are some parents setting for their children...we are here to lead our children to a bright future and not ruin it for them.

joy9281 by joy9281 | TOLEDO, OH
Oct 03, 2010

This is terrible I am so saddened by this and the fact that any parent would use their children this way. It must be such a terrible disappointment to find out that you own parents who you looked up to and respected for many years lied and commited such a crime.

obiwankendrobi by obiwankendrobi | Harlan, KY
Oct 03, 2010

I agree with jemappel. It's a form of child abuse. Ideally, a parent would do anything to make sure their child were better off, apparently others don't think so. I think it's a really horrible thing to put a CHILD's name on something and possibly ruin their future because of your own irresponsibility.

gogrl71 by gogrl71 | suisun city, CA
Oct 03, 2010

This topic was brought up in my class. How parents start putting things in their childrens names and then the poor kids start having credit and they are not even old enough to have credit.