Identity theft is a problem plaguing the nation. It is a felony offense defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as “fraud that is committed or attempted, using a person’s identifying information without authority.” Identity theft can be an easy crime to commit, but investigating and prosecuting these crimes are complex and time-consuming.
Trying to teach teens about, and to protect them from, identity theft can be particularly tough. Many teens don’t have a strong understanding of their financial identity, the purpose of a Social Security number, and (in the age of displaying their lives on the Internet) the need to keep their personal information private. Use the following guide to talk to teens about how identity thieves work, how to prevent identity theft, what teens can do if their identity is stolen, and where teens can go to learn more about identity theft.